Skip to main content

Full text of "CHARLESTON FURNITURE 1700-1825"

See other formats



Frontispiece BOOKCASE Height 10T; width W, depth 25/ 4 " 



Charkstm Furniture 



*' VJ*rfi*i 




"Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 5511622 




In the making of this book I have had the advice and assistance of many people, and I can- 
not regard the work as complete until I have expressed to them, in some fashion, my deep 
sense of gratitude. High on the list must be the name of Miss Emma B. Richardson, of the 
staff of The Charleston Museum, for her excellent work in preparing the manuscript, edit- 
ing, reading proof, and in general making the book ready for the press. Her patience has 
been unfailing; her quick grasp of every problem, sure and accurate. 

It is, I fear, impossible for me to make adequate acknowledgment of all those who have 
assisted me in searching out extant examples of early Charleston furniture. Limitations of 
space preclude a complete listing. I am particularly grateful, however, to those who have 
permitted me to come into their homes, often to die disruption of their households, to 
make photographs of their furniture. I was invariably received with courtesy, and in 
not a single instance was I refused permission to take pictures. I regret that I cannot show 
my appreciation of such generous co-operation by including in this book all the photographs 
I was permitted to acquire. The final choice has been determined by cost and space limita- 
tions, or by the necessity of avoiding repetition of the types of furniture represented. It 
should be understood, therefore, that the exclusion of any given photograph does not 
mean that the subject was unworthy of inclusion. It should be understood also that only 
by the collection and study of hundreds of photographs have I been able to write with 
confidence on the styles and types of early Charleston furniture; hence, every photograph 
I have taken has been invaluable to me, whether or not it occurs as an illustration in die 

Institutions and societies as well as individuals have been generous either in supplying 
me with photographs or in permitting me to have the photographs taken. In particular I 
wish to express my indebtedness to the Baltimore Museum of Fine Arts, the South Caro- 
liniana Library, the Henry Francis duPont Winterthur Museum, the South Carolina So- 
ciety, and the Yale University Art Gallery. 

I am equally grateful to those dealers who have supplied me with illustrations of Charles- 
ton-made furniture in their possession or have shared with me their technical knowledge. 
Among these have been Teina Baumstone, Benjamin Ginsberg, Joe Kindig, Jr., Joe Kindig 
HI, Charles Navis, Jack Pada, William Richmond, and John Schwarz. 

Nor may I neglect to thank those who worked with me in the taking of photographs. 
The work was usually done in the summer, either in the afternoons or evenings when the 
temperature, already high, was cruelly increased by the heat of the photographic lamps. 
The photographers-Benjamin R. Heyward and Robert Adamson Brown of Charleston, 

A. K. Altfather of Columbia, and Henry EIrod of Greenville-were invariably cheerful 
and painstaking under those most trying circumstances. 

For technical assistance in the identification of certain woods I owe my thanks to Wil- 
liam N. Watson of the Smithsonion Institution and Dr. E. S. Harrar of the Department of 
Forestry, Duke University. Dr. J. H. Easterby, Director of the South Carolina Archives 
Department, and Dr. Clement Eaton, Professor of History at the University of Kentucky, 
have given me invaluable help in the solution of many historical problems; and Paul R. 
Weidner, of the Department of English at the College of Charleston, who read the manu- 
script critically during the process of composition, has helped materially in giving unity to 
the text. 

Finally, I shall ever be indebted to Mrs. Henry Manning Sage, of Albany, New York, 
and Dover Plantation, Georgetown, South Carolina, who made this work possible. For her 
encouragement and advice, which I have enjoyed for many years, I cannot too strongly 
express my deepest appreciation. 























NOTES 137 


INDEX 147 









Chippendale Style 



Hepplewhite Style 

Transitional Style 


HAT Box 





18-29, 142 

Frontispiece, 1-2 





110-116, 118-121, 145 
122, 124 
123, 125-129 

30-33, 147-148 
3-6, 36-37, 149 


53, 143-144, 146 
47-52, 54-66 

85, 87-89 

86, 96-99 

100-103, 106, 143 
104-105, 107 
75-76, 94-95 
130, 132-135 


Early Charleston 


it be primitive or highly civilized, is un- 
erringly revealed by the material things 
which the society needs and the degree of 
skill which it displays in producing or ac- 
quiring them. The converse is also true: the 
nature of the things themselves can be best 
understood if they can be judged by the 
known standards and requirements of the 
society which used them. Architecture is 
truly indigeneous to a region where it 
conforms to the climatic conditions, the 
building materials immediately available, 
and the way of life peculiar to that region. 
The same thing may be said of textiles, 
ceramics, furniture. Changes of form occur 
where influences from without begin to 
modify taste, and where affluence makes it 
possible for a people to import, imitate, or 
adopt, the products of other societies. It is 
desirable if not necessary, therefore, to 
understand as much as possible of tfee 
nature and history of a group and people 
if we are to understand the things they 
created or demanded for use in their daily 

From its very beginning the society of 
the Province of South Carolina, with its 
center at Charleston, was strikingly cos- 
mopolitan. The Lords Proprietors had 
visualized it as a reproduction in America 
of the landed aristocracy of old England 
and actually provided, in the constitution 
drawn up by John Locke, for a nobility 
supported by the ownership of land to 
"avoid erecting a numerous democracy." * 
It is true that within half a century the 
nobility disappeared but the economic sys- 

tem with its traditions of gentility persisted 
for many generations. 

While it is true that most of the early 
settlers came from England, it is equally 
true that numbers came from the Barba- 
does. Even at that early date Barbadoes was 
becoming over-populated and the large 
land owners were looking for new lands to 
develop. Men of substantial wealth emi- 
grated from the island to South Carolina 
shortly after the Province was established. 
After the Revocation of the Edict of 
Nantes in 1685 great numbers of Hugue- 
nots settled near Charleston. Many of these 
were artisans, who added considerably to 
the growing wealth of the colony. Irish, 
Jews, Germans, and Scots followed within 
the next few years. Still later came refugees 
from the French West Indies fleeing the 
uprisings and consequent massacres. And 
from time to time in the early history of 
Charleston one comes across a name of 
Dutch extraction. Before very long, then, 
the city was composed of people who 
variously traced their ancestors to England, 
France, Holland, Germany, Ireland, Scot- 
land, and the West Indies; and nearly a cen- 
tury was required to bring about a merging 
of the different customs, traditions, re- 
ligions, and languages of Charleston's 
population. 2 English culture predominated, 
but it was the fusing of many national ele- 
ments that made Charleston a cosmopolitan 
city and created a unique civilization among 
the American colonies, the civilization of 
the Carolina Low Country. 

During the first decade, from 1670 to 
1680, the colony had a precarious existence. 
In addition to the menace of the Indians, 
there was always the threat from the 
Spaniards. South Carolina at that time was 
the southernmost colony, on land claimed 
by the Spanish. In their eyes the new 
colony was definitely an encroachment on 


Spanish territory. In spite of this constant 
threat, the colony not only survived but 
prospered and in 1680 moved to the present 
location of Charleston. As early as 1700, 
John Lawson, the English traveler, was 
able to write of Charleston: * "The Town 
has very regular and fair streets, in which 
are good buildings of Brick and Wood, and 
since my coming thence has had great addi- 
tions of beautiful, Large Brick Buildings, 
besides a Strong Fort and regular Fortifica- 
tions made to defend the town. . . . This 
place is more plentiful in Money, than most, 
or indeed any of the Plantations on the 
Continent. . . . The Merchants of Caro- 
lina are Fair, Frank Traders. The Gentle- 
men seated in the country are very 
courteous, live very nobly in their Houses, 
and give very Genteel entertainments to 
all strangers and others that come to visit 
them."* The "fortifications" to which 
Lawson referred was the wall which was 
being built around the city by which 
Charleston enjoys the distinction of having 
been one of the few walled cities on the 
North American continent. 

The early colonists were quick to see the 
profits that could be derived from the 
Indian trade. Daring explorers were soon 
pushing westward to make contact with the 
natives of the interior. The Indians already 
knew the white man; they had been carry- 
ing on trade with both the French and the 
Spanish for a long time. The economic 
rivalry between the old traders and the new 
sometimes delayed but never permanently 
stopped the westward march of the 
Charleston adventurers, and their pack 

* There is quite a variation in the spelling of the 
name Charleston before its incorporation in 1783. 
The general spelling appears to have been Charles 
Town with bom words capitalized. Sometimes it was 
hyphenated; again spelled as one word; occasionally 
with an V on the end of it, After its incorporation 
in 1783, it became Charleston, In this work the spell- 
ing Charleston is invariably used. 


trains penetrated farther and farther into 
the interior until they reached the Missis- 
sippi River, a thousand miles away. This 
lucrative trade brought the first great 
wealth to Charleston. 

In the latter part of the seventeenth cen- 
tury rice was introduced into the Carolina 
Low Country. The one thing needed to 
make a landed gentry possible had hap- 
pened. Rice culture flourished from the be- 
ginning and the plantation system thus 
firmly established brought tremendous 
wealth to the colony. 

How quickly this new prosperity was 
manifested in the life of Charleston is re- 
flected by the words of Peter Purry, who 
in 1731 wrote: "There are between 5 and 
600 Houses in Charles Town, the most of 
which are very costly; ... the People of 
Carolina, ... are all rich, either in Slaves, 
Furniture, Qoaths, Plate, Jewels, or other 
Merchandizes. . . ." 4 

Just before the Revolution the exports 
from Charleston to Great Britain, during 
an eleven-year period (1763-1773) av- 
eraged 389,000 Sterling per annum. At 
this distance it is difficult to convert this 
amount into present-day monetary terms, 
but compared to the exports from some of 
the other colonies it was extremely large; 
for we find that during the same period die 
average exports from all of New England 
amounted to 132,000 per annum; New 
York, 71,000; and Pennsylvania, 34,000. 5 
The exporting of any commodity means 
that the exporter received either cash or 
credit for his commodity. In view of 
Charleston's large export trade during this 
period, it is easily seen how the Carolina 
planters, merchants, shippers, and other in- 
vestors amassed such large fortunes. There 
is no doubt that in per capita wealth and 
income, Low Country Carolinians led all 
Americans. 6 

A third source of wealth to the Province 
up to the time of the Revolution was indigo. 
It ceased to be a profitable crop when die 
British government discontinued the bounty 
that it had formerly paid for its production. 
By that time, however, cotton had been 
successfully introduced, and more than 
compensated for the loss of the Indian trade 
(caused by the extension of the frontier) 7 
and the profits from indigo. In the end it 
was this white tide of cotton, augmenting 
that of rice, which made permanent the 
great plantation system, with its countless 
slaves and subsequent wealth. 

Charleston had a gay social life. The rich 
planters and merchants vied with one an- 
other to see who could give the greatest 
dinners and balls. There were frequent 
concerts and plays at the local theatre. The 
social season culminated in Race Week, 
when every one of any means whatsoever 
appears to have entertained with a lavish 
hand. 8 If one can judge from old accounts, 
most business must have been suspended 
during that time. Many of the gentlemen 
maintained their own stables, frequently 
with imported blooded horses. 9 Some of 
them even had their own race tracks. 

A description of Charleston appears in 
the London Magazine for June, 1762. It 
gives a rather detailed account of the city, 
describing some of the public buildings and 
having this to say about its inhabitants: 
"Here the rich people have handsome 
equipages; the merchants are opulent and 
well bred; the people are thriving and ex- 
tensive, in dress and life; so that everything 
conspires to make this town the politest, as 
it is one of the richest in America." Lord 
Adam Gordon, who visited Charleston two 
years later, confirms the description of the 
London Magazine; in his journal he writes 
that "The Inhabitants are courteous, polite 
and affable, the most hospitable and attrac- 

tive to Strangers, of any I have yet seen in 
America, very clever in business and almost 
all of them, first and last, have made a trip 
to the Mother-Country. It is the fashion to 
Send home [England] all their children for 
education. ... It is in general believed, 
that they are more attached to the Mother- 
Country, than those Provinces which lie 
more to the Northward. . . ." 10 

Josiah Quincy, Jr., a young Boston 
patriot and lawyer, visited Charleston in 
the spring of 1773. He was so highly im- 
pressed by the city that he wrote to his 
wife that in "grandeur, splendour of build- 
ings, decorations, equipages, number, com- 
merce, shipping, and indeed in almost every 
thing," it surpassed all he had ever seen or 
expected to see in America. Quincy had 
only scorn and criticism for these gay 
pleasures, but he left no doubt that for 
fashion, elegance, gaiety, and wealth 
Charleston was without a parallel in 
Colonial America. 11 

Wealth brought not only luxury and a 
gay social life but leisure as well. And if 
one can judge from the inventories of their 
libraries the wealthy Charlestonians must 
have been proficient in more than one lan- 
guage and they must have had wide and 
varied interests. New cultural values 
brought to the Qiarlestonian the problem 
of educating his children. The boys were 
well grounded in Latin, Greek, and the 
classics. The girls were trained in music, 
drawing, needlework, dancing, and French. 
Feeling that the boys could not get the 
necessary education at home, many fathers 
sent their sons abroad, to attend Oxford, to 
be trained in the law at the Inns of Court, 
or to study medicine at Edinburgh or 
Leyden. The graduation present was usually 
a grand tour of the Continent, which must 
have cost their fathers a pretty penny. 
More Carolinians went abroad to receive 


their education than from any other 
colony. 12 Naturally the dominating in- 
fluence upon these young travelers was 
that of England. Because of this influence, 
upon their return, they founded a library, 
a museum, and other societies and organi- 
zations, many of which have persisted until 
this day. 


Charleston Cabinet-Makers 


where did the Charlestonians get the furni- 
ture to go into their large and stately 
houses? Certainly it could not all have been 
imported; there would not have been suffi- 
cient shipping space for the furniture 
needed to fill die great town houses and the 
mansions on the country estates. The rec- 
ords reveal that from 1700 to 1825 nearly 
250 bona fide cabinet-makers were plying 
their trade in Charleston, trying to fill their 
orders. This number does not include carv- 
ers, gilders, turners, or chair makers; many 
of these worked in conjunction with the 
cabinet-maker. Undoubtedly the early 
joiners made furniture, but with a few ex- 
ceptions, in which their inventories or ad- 
vertisements dearly indicate that they were 
actually making furniture and not building 
houses, their names have not been included 
in the list of cabinet-makers. The same 
applies to the diairmakers--of whom there 
were a great number-f or fear of confusing 
them with the men who actually made rid- 
ing chairs or chaises. 

The first cabinet-makers (as distinguished 
from the joiners) had come to the Province 
by the early eighteenth century. At first 
there were only a few but as Charleston 
grew there was a gradual increase in their 

numbers. But with continued prosperity 
we find that in 1750 the number had 
doubled over that of the previous decade 
and it had again doubled by 1760. There- 
after the increase was more gradual. War 
and the enforced absence of many of the 
Charlestonians, especially at the time of the 
capture of the city by the British in 1780, 
brought a decline in their number. With 
the coining of peace and the gradual re- 
covery from the economic chaos that fol- 
lowed the war, the number of cabinet- 
makers once more began to increase; thirty- 
five men were working in the city in 1790. 
Between 1790 and 1800 the increase was 
spectacular; there were sixty-three cabinet- 
makers in Charleston at the beginning of 
the nineteenth century. The all-high peak 
was reached ten years later, when the names 
of eighty-one men are listed. For a city as 
small as Charleston was at that time, eighty- 
one cabinet-makers is a prodigious number. 
Even when we make allowance for the fact 
that some of these cabinet-makers were em- 
ployed by others, there still must have been 
one or two cabinet-makers' shops in every 
block. By 1820 the number had dropped to 
fifty-one, although as late as 1826 Mills in 
his Statistics of South Carolina lists sixty 
cabinet-makers working in Charleston at 
that time. 1 

The account book of Thomas Elfe re- 
veals that during an eight-year period 
(1768-1775) he made approximately fifteen 
hundred pieces of furniture. 2 It is not to be 
supposed that all of the cabinet-makers 
equalled Elfe either in workmanship or in 
the quantity of furniture they produced. 
And no doubt Elfe received help from 
others. But if his output can be taken as 
any kind of criterion, it is interesting to 
speculate on the amount of furniture he 
made during the thirty years he worked in 
Charleston. If one man, with some outside 

Fig. 1 BOOKCASE Height 8'11"; width 7'8"; depth-center 28'/ 2 ", end 25'/ 2 " 

2 BOOKCASE Height 10T; width 8'3/ 2 "; depth 25" 


help could make so large a number of 
pieces, what must have been the total num- 
ber of pieces of furniture produced between 
1700 and 1825 by the cabinet-makers (ap- 
proximately 250) covered in this work? It 
must have been a fantastic figure. 

English Importations 

ican origin was imported into Charleston. 
All such importations were affected if not 
positively governed by two important con- 
siderations. The first is pure economics; the 
second shipping space. In the early period 
mahogany came from the West Indies. The 
logs had to be transported to London or 
some other English port where a duty was 
paid on them, 1 then sawed into lumber, 
made into furniture by cabinet-makers 
(who in all probability were paid a higher 
wage than the local craftsman), and then 
shipped back to America. There must cer- 
tainly have been a great difference between 
the cost of a piece of locally-made furni- 
ture and one imported from London. The 
freight alone on the mahogany as well as 
on the finished work must have added tre- 
mendously to the cost of an imported 
piece. 2 And no doubt the Charleston 
cabinet-makers, many of whom had learned 
their trade in London, would have done 
everything possible to discourage importa- 
tions. Something like proof of this fact 
seems to be contained in an advertisement 
of Josiah Qaypool (#.#.), dated 1741: 
". . . And whereas by a constant Hurry of 
Cabinet Work, it has so happened that I 
have disappointed several good Customers, 
this is further to give Notice, that in a short 
time I shall have two good Workmen from 
London, and shall then be in a Capacity to 

suit any Person who shall favor me with 
their Employ." 3 

Shipping space was at a premium. It is 
not to be forgotten that eighteenth century 
vessels were very small (as compared with 
modem ones). Again, because of the 
shallowness (15 feet) 4 of the bar at 
Charleston at that time, ships of over two 
hundred tons burden could not enter the 
harbor without lightening their cargo, 5 a 
precarious undertaking even in calm 
weather. Nevertheless, large quantities of 
materials were brought into the port of 
Charleston from abroad. The newspaper 
advertisements contain lengthy lists of these 
various articles. In fact, Governor Glen in 
1749 was so worried about the expensive 
tastes of the Charlestonians that he wrote 
as follows: "I cannot help expressing my 
surprise and concern to find that there are 
annually imported into this Province con- 
siderable quantities of Fine Flanders Lace, 
the Finest Dutch Linens, and French Cam- 
bricks, Chintz, Hyson Tea and other East 
India Goods, Silks, Gold and Silver Laces, 
etc." 6 Such articles, of course, were easily 
stowed, but any large piece of furniture 
took up valuable shipping space. Certainly 
the merchants and ship masters of that day 
were fully cognizant of the fact. 

It is not to be inferred, however, that no 
large pieces of furniture were imported. 
There are still some large pieces in Charles- 
ton that undoubtedly were made in England. 
This also is verified by inventories where, 
at rare intervals, one will find mention of a 
piece of either English or London-made 
furniture. 7 Probably chairs and bedsteads 
were the articles most frequently imported, 
for they could be most easily stowed. 8 If 
one may judge from the newspaper adver- 
tisements of the day-and they went into 
great detail as to the other articles that 
were being imported a comparatively 


small amount of English furniture was 
brought into Charleston. The files of the 
Public Record Office in London confirm 
this. 9 In the years 1720-1728 chairs (not to 
be confused with riding chairs) to the 
value of 1232 were exported to all of the 
American Colonies. From 1740 to 1747 the 
recorded value of exported chairs amounted 
only to 377, showing that the American 
cabinet-makers were, with a few excep- 
tions, taking care of the demands of their 
customers. During the earlier period there 
was no export of chests of drawers or cabi- 
nets; and escritoires amounted to only 5 
which in all probability consisted of a single 
piece. In the latter period there was still no 
export of chests of drawers or cabinets and 
this time the escritoires were valued at 7. 
Strangely enough in an inventory dated 
March 1, 1744, there is an entry of "1 
English Walnut Scrutore 8-0-0" [local 
currency]. 1 * If these periods can be taken as 
any kind of criteria, we have a complete 
explanation of so little mention of English 
furniture in the newspaper advertisements. 
This is further substantiated by the fact 
dm only a small amount of early English 
furniture has come to light in Charleston 


On August 17, 1801, the Mowing ad- 
vertisement was inserted in The Times: 
"The subscribers have imported from Lon- 
don a quantity of the most Elegant and 
Fashionable Furniture, perhaps ever seen in 
this city, which they offer for sale, on 
reasonable terms. ... The articles are as 
follows: Satinwood and Pembroke Tables, 
Tambour Writing Desk, Secretary and 
Book Cases, Side Board, Ice Pails, Chairs, 
Sophas, Window curtains with Cornice 
complete, Fire Screen. The whole intended 
to famish two drawing rooms." The same 
advertisement appears fairly regularly until 
December 31, 1801. What ultimately hap- 


pened to the furniture is not known. The 
conclusion seems to be that either the 
Charleston people were not particularly im- 
pressed by the "Elegant and Fashionable 
Furniture" or that the price asked for it 
was too high. For it must not be overlooked 
that as early as 1790 the United States 
passed a 7^ ad valorem tax on all imported 
furniture. 11 This was one of our early pro- 
tective tariffs. 

By 1801, to further discourage foreign 
importation, the tariff was increased to 
15%, and by 1807 it was again raised to 
W/4% $ th e furniture was brought over 
in foreign bottoms. Such a tariff amounting 
to nearly 20% of the value must have cut 
foreign importation to a mere trickle. And 
by 1822 it had reached a high of 33% on 
all manufactured wood. 12 

American Importations 

the port of Charleston were sporadic. The 
advertisements suggest that they were 
"venture" furniture, that is, furniture put 
on ships at their home ports, the selling 
being left to the discretion of the captain 
as he went from port to port. We find in 
1769 that the Sloop "Sally" from New 
York had "a few low and high-backed 
Windsor Chairs." 1 The Mowing year 
gives an advertisement which offers 
"Windsor Chains from Philadelphia." An 
advertisement of 1774 reads: "Imported 
from Salem-Northward Rum, Desks, Rid- 
ing Chairs, Potatoes, Mackeral and Herring 
in Barrels, Pears, Raisons. . . ." 2 Obviously 
this was a ship sailing from port to port and 
selling its cargo as best it could. 

It is a matter of record that ships from 
New England sailed into Charleston with 

furniture as part of their cargoes. 3 Probably 
most of it was made of maple. If this furni- 
ture remained in Charleston, the fact is not 
revealed in the inventories. Nor is it reason- 
able to assume that the wealthy and sophis- 
ticated Charlestonian would have been 
particularly interested in maple furniture 
when mahogany was not only available but 
abundant and there were a sufficient num- 
ber of excellent cabinet-makers to supply 
his needs. Frequently an advertisement ap- 
pears in the newspaper stating that such 
and such a sloop from one of the Northern 
colonies was at one of the wharves and that 
she "had on board" some articles of furni- 
ture. Inasmuch as the furniture remained 
on board it is a clear indication that the 
captain or broker merely hoped to sell it 
to some prospective buyer. Theref ore, it is 
not to be inferred that every ship that 
entered the Port of Charleston sold its 
entire consignment of furniture while 
there. If the captain or broker could not sell 
the "venture 1 * furniture, as it was called, 
at a satisfactory price, it remained aboard 
and the captain sailed away, hoping for bet- 
ter success at his next port of call On the 
other hand, there is a list (1789) which 
gives the names of the purchasers of some 
furniture brought in by a ship from Salem/ 
Not many of die names appear in the 1790 
Qty Directory, and those that can be 
traced appear, with a few exceptions, to 
have been the names of people of small 
financial means. The explanation may lie in 
the fact that the furniture was on consign- 
ment and that the consignee, after holding 
it unsuccessfully for a time, sold it at re- 
duced prices. In 1797 the Brig Juno arrived 
from Boston with a cargo consisting of 
gin, goods, and furniture. 5 It is not known 
how much of the cargo was sold while the 
ship was in port. 
In 1789 there seems to have been a flurry 

of importation from New York and 
Philadelphia of Windsor chairs, with an 
occasional sideboard and card table. Fre- 
quently one finds an advertisement stating 
that there will be an auction of one hundred 
Windsor chairs, leading to the belief that 
possibly the chairs had not been sold as 
rapidly as anticipated. It is also reasonable 
to suppose that since there were about 
thirty-five cabinet-makers working in 
Charleston during this period (not to men- 
tion several chairmakers), they would re- 
gard importations with disfavor and would 
do everything possible to meet the competi- 
tion. As early as 1784 Andrew Redmond 
(q.v.) was advertising that he made "Phila- 
delphia Windsor Chairs, either armed or 
unarmed, as neat as any imported, and much 
better stuff." * And in 1798 we find Humis- 
ton & Stafford (q.v.) asserting that they 
made "Warranted Windsor Chairs and 
Green Settees, Of the newest fashion, and 
of an excellent quality superior to any ever 
imported into this city, . . ." r 

By 1819 the advertisements show that a 
great deal of New York furniture was being 
shipped to Charleston. Much of it was made 
by J. L. Everett, and John Budd of 118 
Fulton Street. 8 It became so common in the 
city that a furniture store was opened at 
254 King Street under the name of "The 
New York Cabinet Furniture Ware- 
house." 9 In the same year we find another 
furniture store, located at No. 294 King 
Street, known as the Northern Warehouse, 
which was advertising that it had received 
from Philadelphia some Windsor chairs and 
settees of a handsome pattern. 10 It is also 
known that about this time quantities of 
Hitchcock chairs were brought into 
Charleston. 11 

It is not clear why the Charleston 
cabinet-makers and there were fifty-one 
plying their trade at that time-could not 


compete with importations from the North 
though they were trying to meet it. 12 Prob- 
ably mass production was the answer. 13 
Even as late as 1832 the cabinet-makers 
were still endeavoring to meet this com- 
petition for we find the following ad- 
vertisement: "CHARLESTON MADE 
FURNITURE. The subscriber has on hand 
a large assortment of FURNITURE, con- 
sisting of handsome Dressing and plain 
Bureaus; Sideboards of the latest fashion; 
Mahogany and plain bedsteads; Pillar and 
daw Tea Tables . . . Wardrobes, Sofas 
of various pattern . . . Also, Windsor and 
Easy Chairs, . . ." M But it is clear that by 
the middle of the century, Charleston 
cabinet-making was on the decline, although 
many cabinet-makers have continued their 
trade down to the present. 

Other Importations 

reveal that furniture was brought into 
Charleston from places other than England 
or the American seaport cities. A small ad- 
vertisement in 1798 announces a shipment 
"From Scodand-Some elegant Furniture, 
& to be disposed of on Moderate Terms." * 
In the same year we learn that the ship 
Elm has arrived from Bordeaux with some 
Bedsteads, Sofas and Chairs for Francis De 
Lorme (f v.),* 

Negro Cabinet-Makers 

iog the period covered by this work an ap- 
preciable number of Negro cabinet-makers 
worked in Charleston. Presumably they 


were the slaves of white cabinet-makers, 
picked for special training in cabinet- 
making because they had shown some 
aptitude for it. Unfortunately, we have 
only a few records pertaining to these 
Negro craftsmen. It is probable that there 
were many more Negroes working as 
cabinet-makers than the records reveal. 

As early as 1729 we find Thomas Hoi- 
ton, chair- and couch maker, putting up as 
collateral on a mortgage three of his Negro 
men "by name Sesar, Will, and Jack by 
trade Chairmakers." l 

By 1755 so many Negroes were being 
trained in various trades, to the disadvantage 
of white workmen, that the provincial 
legislature framed an act intended to put 
some curb upon the increase of Negro 
artisans. The law reads in part: "And no 
master of any slave shall permit or suffer 
such slaves to carry on any handicraft trade 
in a shop by himself, in town, on pain of 
forfeiting five pounds every day. Nor to 
put any negro or slave apprentice to any 
mechanic trade of another in town, on for- 
feiture of one hundred pounds." 

In the South Carolina Gazette for De- 
cember 10-17, 1763, occurs the following 
advertisement: "Any person having a good 
negro ship-carpenter, cabinet-maker, or 
house-carpenter, whom he is willing to dis- 
pose of for no fault, and who can be 
recommended for sobriety and honesty, and 
is not old, may hear of a purchaser by in- 
quiring of the Printer hereof." There seems 
to be nothing unusual in this advertisement, 
the indication being that the Negro cabinet- 
maker was a well established fact. 

When John Fisher bought out the 
cabinet-making business of Stephen Town- 
send in 1771, he inserted the following 
advertisement: u . . . that he has purchased 
of Mr. Stephen Townsend his STOCK in 
TRADE and NEGROES brought up to 

the Business"; 2 and the account book of 
Thomas Elfe tells us how he would send 
his Negro cabinet-maker to various resi- 
dences either to put or take down a four- 
poster bed or to do a minor repair job on a 
piece of furniture. Elfe's will reveals that 
he owned three Negro cabinet-makers. 

A part of the Gty's revenue was derived 
from the sale of badges issued to the masters 
of slaves. In 1783 a Gty Ordinance pro- 
vided in part that "no owner or other per- 
son having care and government of negroes 
or other slaves, shall permit any such slave 
to be employed or hired out of their re- 
spective houses or families, without a ticket 
or badge first had and obtained from the 
Corporation of this Gty, under the penalty 
of three pounds for every such offence; 
. . . And for each ticket or badge obtained 
from the Corporation the several sums fol- 
lowing shall be respectively paid, . . . 
Cabinet-maker ... 20 shillings . . ." 3 

In 1800 Joshua Eden emancipated a 
Negro by the name of William. In his will, 
probated two years later, Eden left "all his 
working tools and wearing apparel" to 
William. It is a fair assumption that William 
had been brought up in the trade and knew 
how to use its tools. The wills of many 
other cabinet-makers reveal that they 
owned slaves, and it can hardly be doubted 
that many of these slaves worked for their 

Thomas Charnock sold some property to 
Sarah Cooper in 1810. At that time he is 
spoken of as "a free man of color, and a 
carpenter and cabinet-maker." However, 
it is not until the middle of the nineteenth 
century that we begin to find free Negro 
cabinet-makers more frequently mentioned. 

That there were Negro apprentices in 
cabinet-making is quite evident. For ex- 
ample, G. E. Barrite, a local cabinet-maker, 
advertised that "A colored Boy of proper 

age, will be taken as an Apprentice"; 4 and 
Joshua Neville & Son state that they want 
"three or four BOYS, to learn the Cabinet 
Making business, either white or colored." 5 
It is regrettable that there is no way of 
estimating the amount of furniture actually 
made by the Negro cabinet-maker. 

Kinds of Furniture Used in Charleston 


cles contained in each room. In most of 
them the various articles are given in a long 
unbroken list. It is always interesting to 
note the amount and kind of furniture 
which normally would be found in the 
residence of a man of means. The inven- 
tory 1 of John Rattray (about whom noth- 
ing else is known) made in 1761, reveals 
that he had the following items in his dining 

1 dozen Mahogany chairs with worked 

1 dozen Mahogany chairs with leather 


2 large square Mahogany Tables 

1 Marble Slab 
1 Tea Table & Tea Board 
1 Card Table 

1 Pair Sconces Glass & Chimney Glass 
1 Set Marriage a la mode [Hogarth] 

In his "Front Chamber" are found the 
following articles: 

1 Mahogany Bedstead with furniture 

1 Chest 

1 Half Chest of Drawers 

1 Mahogany Desk & Bookcase 

1 Close Stool Chair 

1 Dressing Glass 

1 Easy Chair 


The other "chambers" of his residence 
contained furniture similar to the pieces in 
the foregoing list. 

The inventory of Jacob Motte, a wealthy 
merchant, made on July 19, 1770, 2 shows 
that he had the following pieces of furni- 
ture in his residence: 

27 Mahogany Chairs 
2 Easy Chairs 
53 other Chairs 

2 Night Chairs 

8 Mahogany Bedsteads 

3 Dressing Tables 
3 Marble Tables 

3 Mahogany Clawfoot Tables 
10 other Mahogany Tables 
3 Double Chests of Drawers 

2 Chests of Drawers 

3 Desks 

1 Couch 

2 Presses 

1 Cooler [Wine] 

4 Knife Cases 

1 dock [grandfather] 

4 Screens 

3 Washhand Stands 
1 Mahogany Stool 

1 Glass door Cabinet 

5 Looking Glasses 
1 Tea Board 

Total-141 Items 

The inventory of Mary Bull made on 
January 20, 1770,' lists the following 

55 Mahogany Chairs 
2 Easy Chairs 
2 Arm Chairs 
8 Walnut Chairs 

6 Windsor Chairs 

1 dose Stool Chair 

7 Mahogany Bedsteads 
6 Dressing Tables 


10 Mahogany Tables, Dining, lea, 

1 Sopha 

1 Couch 

2 Chests of Drawers, Mahogany 
7 Looking Glasses 

1 Tall [grandfather] Clock 
1 Bottle stand 

3 Mahogany Cases containing silver- 

handled Knives, Forks, & Spoons 
1 Desk & Bookcase 

1 Desk 

2 Rum Cases large 

106 articles of furniture 

At this time Charleston was one of the 
larger cities, and certainly the richest, in 
the country. From the foregoing lists one 
can draw one's own conclusion as to the 
quality and quantity of furniture that was, 
at one time, to be found in Charleston. 

Kinds of Furniture Not Made in 

information concerning the types or styles 
of furniture manufactured and used in 
Charleston-inventories of personal prop- 
erty; advertisements by local cabinet- 
makers in the newspapers of the period; and 
surviving pieces of furniture now in Charles- 
ton homes. If a given type does not appear 
in at least one of these three places, the as- 
sumption is reasonably fair that the type 
was not produced in Charleston, though 
there is always the possibility that at almost 
any time a piece will turn up to contradict 
the generalization. 

Thus far no records have appeared to 
indicate that furniture of the block front 
type of construction was either manufac- 

tured in Charleston or imported, though 
any number of Charlestonians must have 
been familiar with it. Before the Revolu- 
tion it was customary for South Carolina 
planters to spend the summers, from May 
to autumn, in Newport, Rhode Island. 
Newport was so popular as a place of 
escape from the fevers of the Carolina Low 
Country that it was called the "Carolina 
Hospital." Newport also provided pleasures 
for the wealthy and in summer bore some 
resemblance to the city of Bath, England, 
a summer resort of the English aristocracy. 

Carolinians at Newport could hardly 
have missed seeing the handiwork of the 
Northern cabinet-makers, but they were 
apparently not impressed by it. 

The high chest of drawers, or as it is 
commonly called, the "high boy," seems 
not to have been made in Charleston. There 
are a few high boys now in the city, but 
their histories reveal that they are recent 
importations. The double chest of drawers 
took the place of high boys in the city 
residence or plantation home of coastal 

On the other hand, the dressing table was 
a common article of furniture in Charleston 
houses, as the inventories reveal. They were 
well executed. The Charleston dressing 
table usually had one long drawer or two 
small drawers. With one exception, nothing 
has yet been discovered that is comparable 
to the Philadelphia-style "low boy." 
Whether such a dressing table (the name 
"low boy" was not used in Colonial times) 1 
was ever made in Charleston in any quan- 
tity only time and diligent research will 

Strangely enough, the bombe form has 
not been found in Charleston. Since it was 
used in England, it might be supposed that 
Charlestonians would have wanted it. 

Future research may reveal that it was oc- 
casionally used here. 

The "bonnet" top does not seem to have 
been used on the double chest of drawers. 
Some of the cabinet-makers advertised that 
they made double chests of drawers with 
"neat and light Pediment Heads, which 
take off and put on occasionally." Since, 
unfortunately, so few of these Pediment 
Heads have survived, they must have been 
removed more often than "occasionally." 

Styles and Influences 


the advertisements of the Charleston 
cabinet-makers was that their furniture was 
made either in the latest style or the latest 
fashion. The first known advertisement of 
any cabinet-maker appeared in 1732 in the 
South Carolina Gazette offering furniture 
made in the "best manner." * Insistence on 
this kind of excellence persisted until the 
1830's, when cabinet-making, as we now 
think of it, gradually declined. 

Before the Revolution, Charlestonians, 
because of their wealth, had close ties with 
the mother country and were naturally 
partial to, if not actually governed by, its 
styles. With their balls and dancing as- 
semblies, conceits and race meets, theatre 
and open-air gardens, cock-fights, billiards, 
and taverns, debating clubs and coffee 
clubs, Charleston was in many respects a 
miniature London-the London of wealth 
and fashion. 2 That the prevailing styles of 
London reached Charleston quickly is ex- 
emplified in an advertisement in the South 
Carolina Gazette of December 16, 1756: 
"James Reid proposes to sell his house and 
land contiguous to the rope walk . . . The 
said house is new built, strong, and modish, 


after the CHINESE Taste, which spreads 
60 feet square including the balconies . . ." 
Although the Chinese influence is shown in 
Chippendale's Director, published in 1754, 
Sir William Chambers did much to popu- 
larize the Chinese style in England by the 
publication in 1757 of his Design of Chinese 
BuMing, Furniture, Dresses, Machines, and 
Utensils. Yet we find a house in Charleston 
already built in the "CHINESE" taste a 
year before the publication of Chambers' 
work. Actually the house was probably 
chinoiserie in detail rather than truly 
Chinese. 2 This taste persisted in Charleston 
for several years; on December 12, 1761, 
the following advertisement appeared in the 
South Carolina Gazette: "PETER HALL, 
Cabinet-Maker, from London . . . where 
gendemen and ladies of taste may have 
made, and be supplied with Chinese tables 
of all sorts, shelves, trays, chimney-pieces, 
baskets, &c. being at present the most ele- 
gant and admired fashion in London." And 
John Lord, a London trained carver, states 
in the South Carolina Gazette; and Country 
Journal for May 12, 1767, that he does 
furniture carving "in the Chinese, French 
and Gothic Tastes . . ." Some of the 
wealthy Charlestonians carried these pre- 
vailing styles to such an extent that they 
imported from London their carriages, 
horses, and coachmen.* 

Crevecoeur, a Frenchman who visited 
Charleston just prior to the Revolution, was 
greariy impressed by the city and its in- 
habitants for he said that they "are the 
gayest in America; it is called the center of 
our beau monde . . . An (sic) European 
a his first arrival must be greatly surprised 
when he sees the elegance of their houses, 
their sumptuous furniture, as well as the 
magnificence of their table." 5 The Charles- 
tonians appointed booksellers in London to 
scad them regularly the latest current 

magazines and reviews. When the anti- 
quarian craze swept London it was com- 
municated to the Charlestonians soon after- 
ward by such works as Antique Paintings 
of Herculaneum and Baths of the Romans* 
In other words, Charlestonians thought of 
themselves as Englishmen who happened 
to be living in America, and naturally did 
everything possible to emulate the life of 
London society. Therefore Drayton in 
1802 could write: "Before the American 
war [Revolution], the citizens of Carolina 
were too much prejudiced in favor of 
British manners, customs, and knowledge, 
to imagine that elsewhere, than in England, 
anything of advantage could be ob- 
tained." 7 Up to the time of the Revolu- 
tion, therefore, all styles and influences 
came from London. 

From 1775 to 1785 there is a hiatus. 
Charleston, like the other American sea- 
port dries, was eventually captured and 
occupied by the British. During the occu- 
pation the city had a certain amount of 
communication with England, but it is 
doubtful whether the then prevailing styles 
of London had an appreciable effect even 
upon the people of Charleston who had 
sworn allegiance to the Crown. Conditions 
were too chaotic and in all probability there 
was not a sufficient amount of ready cash 
available to pay the cabinet-makers. 

During the next five years local cabinet- 
makers did very little advertising. The 
financial condition of the country was still 
unstable and the average citizen was too 
busy making a living to spend money on 
new furniture. It is not to be inferred, how- 
ever, that no new furniture was being made, 
for there were, in fact, many cabinet- 
makers working in Charleston at that time, 
though it is doubtful whether the produc- 
tion of furniture was comparable to that of 
the pre-Revolutionary period. This may ex- 

plain in some degree why so little furniture 
of the so-called "Transition" period has 
been found in Charleston. The hiatus oc- 
curred during the time that the style was 
changing from the influence of Chippen- 
dale to that of Hepplewhite. 

With the return of prosperity Charles- 
ton's foreign trade greatly expanded. Ships 
from Rotterdam, Hamburg, Bremen, and 
Bordeaux, and even from Sweden and 
Russia, brought into the port of Charleston 
innumerable articles, utilities as well as 
luxuries, that had formerly come from 
England. These new contacts must have 
had some effect on the tastes of the native 
Charlestonians. For the first few years of 
the last decade of the eighteenth century 
the French influence was probably the 
strongest. 8 In 1791, Delorme, a local up- 
hokerer, stated that "he makes bed and 
window curtains, either after the French 
or English fashion." The Duke of Lian- 
court, who visited Charleston in 1796, had 
the following comments to make about the 
people: "Many of the inhabitants of South 
Carolina, having been in Europe, have in 
consequence acquired a greater knowledge 
of our manners, and a stronger partiality to 
them, than the people of the Northern 
States. Consequently, the European modes 
of life are here more prevalent." He went 
on to say the "hatred against England is 
almost universal." 9 Anything French was 
extremely popular everywhere in America 
and the people of Charleston were receiv- 
ing the French refugees from Santo Do- 
mingo who were fleeing the native uprisings 
in that unhappy island. 10 It is thought that 
among these refugees were several cabinet- 
makers, who continued their trade when 
they eventually established themselves in 
Charleston. Though not numerous they 
would certainly have added a modicum of 

French influence to the style of Charleston 

By the turn of the century the feeling 
against England was subsiding; trade with 
England was resumed in some degree and, 
in spite of this feeling, the influence of 
Adam, Hepplewhite, and Sheraton had 
already made itself felt. It is from this 
period that the influence of Adam manifests 
itself to quite a degree in Charleston archi- 
tecture; while the influence of Hepple- 
white is found in many sideboards of local 
origin. Styles based upon those of the 
French Empire and the English Regency 
were probably felt more quickly in 
Charleston that in other American seaport 
cities. Henry Adams, the New England 
historian, had this to say about the Charles- 
tonians during the first administration of 
Jefferson: "with their cultivated tastes and 
hospitable habits, delighted in whatever 
reminded them of European civilization. 
They were travellers, readers, and scholars; 
the society of Charleston compared well in 
refinement with that of any city of its size 
in the world, and English visitors long 
thought it the most agreeable in Amer- 
ica." 11 Wedged between the Ashley and 
Cooper Rivers, Charleston was the funnel 
of all import and export for the State and 
adjacent territory; it was the greatest ex- 
porting point on the American continent. 12 
It was not until after the War of 1812, 
with subsequent economic disruption, that 
the first influence of another American city 
appeared on the styles of Charleston furni- 
ture. That city was New York. There are 
several things which help to account for 
this influence. Charleston was making cot- 
ton its principal article of export. The New 
York merchants, anxious to participate in 
the lucrative cotton trade between Charles- 
ton, England, and France, created through 
keen business acumen a three-cornered 

trade often spoken of as the "cotton 
triangle." 18 The ships which took cotton 
to England or France instead of returning 
directly to Charleston would return by 
way of New York loaded with freight or 
immigrants, then turn southward loaded 
with a general cargo picked up at New 
York By this arrangement New York 
articles could be delivered at Charleston or 
any of the Southern ports at very little 
cost. To control this trade by maintaining 
the "cotton triangle" many Northern mer- 
chants sent their representatives to live in 
Charleston. By 1819 so many of these men 
were living in the city that along with 
others they founded the New England 
Society. Undoubtedly they did everything 
possible to "popularize" Northern goods. 

About this period also the New York 
cabinet-makers were beginning the mass 
production of furniture, 14 and in spite of 
freight rates they could probably undersell 
the work of the Charleston cabinet- 
maker. 15 

Finally there is that nebulous thing called 
style, for which there is no accounting. 
Articles from New York became stylish 
and for some reason Charlestonians de- 
veloped a taste for New York products 
amply because such things were "stylish." 



developed among the Charleston cabinet- 
makers a school of design and workman- 
ship that was in any way comparable to the 
schools of Philadelphia or Rhode Island. 
At this time a categorical answer to such a 
question is impossible. Establishing a 
"school" of furniture is like proving a 
scientific fact It cannot be based on one or 


even a dozen experiments or observations. 
To be valid, the conclusions require hun- 
dreds of such observations, and as yet not 
enough Charleston-made furniture has been 
identified to provide the required data. 

The difficulty of positively identifying 
the work of Charleston cabinet-makers is 
greatly increased by the fact that their 
work bears no labels. Thus far (1955) 
there is actually only one known labeled 
piece of Charleston furniture. By contrast, 
many of the pieces produced by Northern 
craftsmen have retained their original 
labels. This makes it fairly easy to identify 
other pieces by the same craftsman, and as 
examples multiply the characteristic styles 
of individual artisans or groups of artisans 
begin to form a pattern in which the uni- 
formity of detail helps make possible the 
definition of a school. It is clear, therefore, 
that the methods commonly employed for 
arriving at the characteristics of the 
Northern "schools" cannot be used in 
studying the work of the Charleston 

From the pieces of furniture known to 
have been produced in Charleston as well 
as from the early history of Charleston, it 
now appears that the pre-Revolutionary 
cabinet-makers followed the English styles 
and methods probably more closely than 
did the cabinet-makers in the Northern 
colonies. This is especially noticeable in 
several double chests of drawers that are to 
be found in or near Charleston. Their 
dimensions appear to be very close to their 
English prototypes of the same period. The 
English method also appears in the cross 
brace, running from front to rear, in the 
bottom of the larger drawers. It is impor- 
tant to note that cypress was used as a 
secondary wood for these cross braces 
instead of oak which was so generally used 
by the English. The dust board extending 

almost to the rear and in some cases all the 
way to the rear appears to have been gen- 
erally used by the pre-Revolutionary local 

Because of the proximity of the West 
Indies it was easy to bring mahogany into 
Charleston at low cost. Consequently the 
cabinet-makers made lavish use of ma- 
hogany. Very frequently beautifully 
crotched mahogany was veneered on ma- 
hogany. This method was occasionally 
used in Philadelphia, and possibly else- 
where, but it was used often by Charleston 

Fine chairs were imported from England 
to Charleston and copied by the cabinet- 
makers (see Richard Magrath) who had 
received their training in London. The 
locally made chairs probably differed only 
by having heavier mahogany rails and 
large mahogany corner blocks. Some chairs 
of local origin have solid brackets. This 
may eventually turn out to be another 
indication of Charleston workmanship. 
Doubtless there are in existence countless 
pieces of locally made furniture that, be- 
cause of their similarity, are now regarded 
(erroneously) as being of English origin. 

If a pre-Revolutionary Charleston school 
ever evolves (and it probably will), the 
preponderance of the present evidence leads 
us to believe that it will be very English in 
both its style and craftsmanship. 

The post-Revolutionary period is another 
matter. After the Revolution when Charles- 
ton again became prosperous and building 
was resumed, the houses were usually of 
larger dimensions, the most notable dif- 
ference being their higher ceilings. In order 
that their furniture might not look dwarfed 
in the high ceiling room, the local cabinet- 
makers, literally following the advice of 
Hepplewhite, made their furniture taller. 
The upper section of the secretary-book- 

case of this period (1790-1820) is usually 
quite high, giving it a "long-waisted" 
appearance. Frequently the lower sections 
are of a higher proportion than those found 
elsewhere. The Charleston bed of this same 
period is to be identified by its great height 
(nine-foot bedposts are fairly common), 
movable headboards, mahogany rails, and 
mahogany headposts. Mahogany bedrails 
and headposts were used elsewhere, but 
they were common in Charleston. Some 
armchairs of this period, thought to be of 
local origin, have shorter arm-rests than 
those found elsewhere. However, until a 
large number of such chairs have been ex- 
amined, it cannot be said with certainty that 
shorter arm-rests form another Charleston 

The bellflowers found in local pieces of 
furniture are usually "scratched" rather 
than scrolled or pieced and the edges are 
not scorched with hot sand. There are a 
few exceptions in furniture of local origin 
but the great majority of pieces have 
"scratched" bellflowers. 

Again turning to history we find that 
during this period (1790-1820) Charleston 
was a highly cosmopolitan city. Historians 
and travelers both note this fact. In the last 
decade of the nineteenth century French 
styles prevailed. Taste in these styles was 
doubtless augmented by the French 
refugees from Santo Domingo. About this 
time also the records reveal that numbers of 
cabinet-makers from Scotland were work- 
ing in Charleston and, judging by the 
inventories of their estates, they were 
highly successful In addition there were 
cabinet-makers who had received their 
training in Germany, Sweden, Italy, Lon- 
don, and France. It is reasonable to assume 
that the Charlestonians as well as the 
cabinet-makers with this cosmopolitan 
background would not have followed any- 


thing but the then prevailing style. How- 
ever, in the construction of their pieces they 
probably adhered to their early training. 
Several pieces of furniture are in existence 
that, because of their fine dovetailing (as 
well as other characteristics), have been 
ascribed to some of the Scot cabinet-makers. 
If die characteristics thus far listed are of 
sufficient importance to individualize the 
Charleston-made furniture of the period, 
then it can be said that a post-Revolutionary 
Charleston school exists, although it must 
be admitted, however, that thus far the 
school is not as clearly defined as some of 
the other American schools of furniture. 
Anything like a final definition of a 
Charleston school still remains in the 



two hundred fifty cabinet-makers listed in 
this work only one labeled piece has come 
to light. The label is on a satinwood 
secretary-bookcase not now in Charleston, 
and it bears the name of Robert Walker, 
No. 53 Church Street, Charleston, S. C 
There is one other possible exception. A 
secretary is known, on the side of a small 
drawer of which is written in ink, "made 
by Jacob Sass, Oct. 1794." 

Whether pre-Revolutionary local crafts- 
men ever used labels is problematical. Labels 
were seldom used by their English con- 
temporaries. Even if labels were attached 
to new work, it is not likely that they sur- 
vived the first summer; for the hot, humid 
atmosphere of Charleston and the attacks 
of glue-eating insects would probably have 
caused die labels to disintegrate in a very 
short time. 

Exports and Country Trade 


Custom House were sent to Columbia for 
safekeeping and were destroyed when that 
city was wantonly burned in 1865. There- 
fore, there is no way of ascertaining the 
amount of furniture that was exported from 
Charleston. In 1768 Abraham Pearce, a 
local cabinet-maker, advertised that 
"Orders from the country, or any of the 
southern provinces, will be punctually com- 
plied with." * The interesting thing about 
this advertisement is that it reveals that the 
local cabinet-makers were then making 
more than enough furniture to take care of 
the needs of their customers and therefore 
had to look for other outlets for their 
products. The "southern provinces" prob- 
ably included Georgia, East Florida, and the 
British possessions in the West Indies. 

It is a matter of record that in the early 
part of the nineteenth century vessels from 
Charleston entered the port of Savannah 
with furniture as their cargo. 2 There were 
about eighty cabinet-makers working in 
Charleston at that time and they must have 
produced a tremendous amount of furni- 
ture, which more than sufficed for the local 
trade; hence the exportation of the surplus. 
While it is definitely known that furniture 
was exported from Charleston, it probably 
will never be known how much there was 
of it or where it was shipped. 

With the development of the plantation 
system which produced such tremendous 
wealth the local cabinet-makers quickly 
saw the possibility of acquiring rich cus- 
tomers. In their advertisements they fre- 
quently stated that "orders from the coun- 
try will be punctually complied with" 
indicating that the large and elegant planta- 
tion homes were filled with furniture of 


Charleston origin. As early as 1773 Thomas 
Elfe was shipping furniture to Cheraw, 
South Carolina, a distance of about two 
hundred miles by water. 

Each plantation owner had a factor who 
lived in Charleston. The relationship be- 
tween the factor and the planter was 
usually a very close one. The factor sold 
the planter's crop, advanced him money, 
bought his supplies in the Charleston 
market, and attended to his many smaller 
needs. The accepted definition of a factor 
was one "who could, and in many cases did, 
do anything which the principal could do 
through an agent." 3 Frequently the 
planter's children were entrusted to the 
care of the factor on their visits to Charles- 
ton. Whenever the planter wanted any 
furniture he wrote to his factor telling him 
approximately what he wanted and the 
factor in turn would give the order to some 
competent cabinet-maker, and see that the 
furniture was shipped to the planter. 

A Charleston factor who had been in- 
structed by one of his clients, a rice planter, 
to make some purchases wrote as follows: 
"With respect to the Chairs, I am quite at 
a loss what to do, there is such a variety both 
in Pattern and Color that I wish you had 
mentioned the circumstance when you were 
in Charleston that you might have chosen 
the Pattern yourself." He also purchased 
for his client some "Carpeting," stockings, 
linens, and china. 4 

By the first decade of the nineteenth cen- 
tury cotton was bringing great wealth to 
the planter, not only along the coastal area 
with rice but in the interior of the State 
where rice could not be grown. In 1801 sea- 
island cotton was sold for forty-four cents 
a pound 5 and upland cotton brought 
twenty-five cents a pound.* Converted into 
terms of present-day purchasing power this 
was a fantastic price. With this new wealth 

the plantation owner in the interior of the 
State built his pretentious house and he 
naturally wanted furniture in keeping with 
his home. The logical place to get his furni- 
ture was in Charleston, through his factor. 

In 1800 approximately sixty-two cabinet- 
makers were working in Charleston. A 
decade later the number had risen to 
eighty-one. Since the population of the Gty 
itself had not increased in the same propor- 
tion during that decade a question at once 
presents itself: why this spectacular increase 
in the number of cabinet-makers? The 
answer is not hard to find. These additional 
cabinet-makers were needed to take care of 
the "country trade" in the interior and 
upper part of the State. Another significant 
fact is that the cabinet-makers during this 
period did comparatively little advertising, 
an indication that they were so busy filling 
orders that they did not find it necessary to 
advertise their wares. Furniture from 
Charleston was shipped in flat boats as far 
inland as navigation permitted and from 
there overland to the plantation. 7 This ex- 
plains why so many pieces of fine ma- 
hogany furniture of this period have been 
found in the interior of the State. 

With the advent of the steamboat in the 
second decade of the nineteenth century 
the cabinet-makers in the interior could 
compete with the Charleston cabinet- 
makers because by this new method of 
transportation they could bring in ma- 
hogany either in boards or in logs. 8 In this 
manner they may have been able to under- 
sell Charleston-made furniture, although the 
freight on the mahogany came to between 
$15 and $30 per ton, which would have 
added considerably to the cost of the fin- 
ished product. 9 And it must not be over- 
looked that green mahogany is extremely 
heavy, weighing about 2% tons per thou- 
sand feet. It is reasonable to assume that the 


Charleston cabinet-maker, disKking this 
competition, would have done everything 
possible to see that a cabinet-maker from 
the interior would have had to pay full 
market price for any mahogany that he 

Within the memory of man many fine 
mahogany sideboards have been found in 
the upper part of the State. 10 Many were of 
die Hepplewhite style, indicating that they 
were made in the last decade of the 
eighteenth and the early years of the nine- 
teenth century, which was the apex in the 
number of the Charleston cabinet-makers, 
and prior to the era of the steamboat. 

Plantation-Made Furniture 


about plantation-made furniture. Un- 
doubtedly, some furniture was actually 
made on the plantation but the preponder- 
ance of evidence leads us to believe that 
little fine furniture was made there. In the 
first place, the inventories of many of the 
leading planters fail to Ik any of their 
slaves as cabinet-makers. On the larger 
plantations it was customary to have one or 
more slaves who had been trained as car- 
penters; some are listed as coopers; still 
others as blacksmiths; but no mention of 
one trained as a cabinet-maker has yet 
appeared. It is a matter of record that 
Negroes were trained as cabinet-makers 
(see Negro Cabinet-Makers) but they 
usually were the property of one of the 
local white cabinet-makers. 

Again, any one with a knowledge of how 
fine furniture is made and who has ever 
been in die shop of a cabinet-maker will 
realize that k not only requires a large 
number of planes, gauges, chisels, and saws 


but also workbenches, clamps, a "glew 
pot," and innumerable other articles. Even 
applying a piece of veneer requires not 
only a skilled hand but many tools. It 
would have been economically unsound to 
have maintained a trained cabinet-maker to 
have made a comparatively small amount of 
furniture. If a slave belonging to one of the 
planters had shown a special aptitude and 
had been especially trained in this field, he 
undoubtedly would have been "hired out" 
to one of the white cabinet-makers in 
Charleston, thereby bringing his master 
some revenue. The "hiring out" of slaves 
skilled in trades was an accepted practice. 

Though it is true that mahogany could 
have been purchased from some broker and 
transported to the plantation, it would have 
had to be sawed, after its arrival, into boards 
and cut to dimensions and air-dried, for at 
least two years, thereby necessitating an- 
other operation that was commonplace to 
the local cabinet-maker. Finally, the per- 
sistent advertisements of the Charleston 
cabinet-makers stating that "Country trade 
would be punctually complied with" indi- 
cates that the planters were their patrons. 

Plantation-made furniture is generally of 
a simple kind. Close examination reveals 
that it does not have the sophistication nor 
does it show the trained hand of a master 
craftsman. Usually it was constructed of 
one of the native woods growing in the 
immediate vicinity of the plantation. 

Prices of Furniture 


vert into present-day values the price paid 
for furniture by our forefathers. Generally 
speaking the pre-RevoIutionary pound in 
South Carolina, frequently spoken of as. 

"current money," had a ratio of approxi- 
mately 7 to 1 to the English pound. In 
other words, if a cabinet-maker was paid 
70 local currency for an article of furni- 
ture he was receiving the equivalent of 10 
Sterling. The pre-Revolutionary pound 
Sterling, based on $5.00 for easy computa- 
tion (not the devaluated English pound of 
today) probably had a purchasing power 
at least ten times* greater than today's 
pound or dollar. Therefore an article pur- 
chased for 70 current money actually cost 
10 English Sterling. Multiplying the 10 
Sterling by ten (today's purchasing power) 
would give 100. This multiplied by $5.00 
(the then value of the English pound) 
would give us $500. Fine furniture in the 
old days definitely was not cheap. 

In 1766 Thomas Chippendale made for 
Sir Rowland Winn, Bart., a set of twelve 
parlor chairs "horse hair and double brass 
nailed" for 19-10-0. a In 1774 Thomas Elfe 
(q.v.) made for General William Moultrie 
a set of twelve chairs "cov'd with hair & 
brass nailed" at a cost of 170 current 
money. 2 Converting the current money 
into the Sterling at a ratio of 7 to 1, we 
find that Elfe was paid the equivalent of 
slightly over 24 Sterling for his set of 
chairs or approximately 5 more than 
Chippendale. Of course, there is no way of 
comparing the chairs but it is reasonable to 
suppose that the set of parlor chairs made 
by Chippendale for Sir Rowland Winn 
were of high quality. Elfe's finest chairs 

*This is a purely arbitrary figure. Mrs. Edwin 
Williams, Baker Library, Harvard University, in a 
letter dated April 13, 1953, writes: "There is no 
simple formula for comparing the purchasing power 
of money in the 18th century and today for the 
question is often asked, and a survey of the litera- 
ture does not show that a solution to the problem 
has been worked out. There are so many variable 
factors in attempting to measure the purchasing power 
of the dollar and such wide variations in prices in 
different parts of the country that an accurate com- 
parison would be difficult if not impossible." 

brought as much as 230 current money a 
dozen, or approximately 33 Sterling. 

As near as can be ascertained the ap- 
praised value of mid-eighteenth century 
furniture fairly well approximated its true 
value. In the inventory of Thomas Elfe a 
desk and bookcase is appraised at 130 
current money. Elfe's charge for a desk 
and bookcase with glass doors amounted 
to 140. A double chest of drawers with a 
desk is appraised at 100. This was prac- 
tically the same price Elfe received for a 
similar article of furniture. 

Occasionally pieces of furniture at public 
sale (although there are few records) 
brought considerably more than their ap- 
praised value. For instance, a marble slab 
with brackets was appraised at 15 and 
brought 24; eight mahogany chairs ap- 
praised at 50 brought 88; and a harpsi- 
chord appraised at 100 brought 160. 8 

During the last decade of the eighteenth 
century and especially during its closing 
years ready money became scarce. Many of 
the local cabinet-makers advertised that 
they would take either cash or "country 
produce." More than likely at that time the 
country produce would have been rice, 
which was always a staple commodity. 

The receipt book of James Jervey reveals 
that in 1809 he paid Mclntosh and Foulds 
(q.v.) "$65 for pair of mahogany sofas." 
The present whereabouts of the sofas is not 
known; hence there is no way of knowing 
how elaborate they were. And in 1817 a 
Charleston factor wrote to one of his clients 
(a rice planter) as follows: "I have en- 
quired the price of those painted Green and 
Gilded [chairs] next to Mr. Highams they 
ask 75 dollars for 12 Chairs that is 10 Com- 
mon and 2 arm, there are some in Setts of 
10 without Arm Chairs that come [to] 
about 56 dollars, if you want them I will 
purchase them for you." 4 


G. E. Barrite, a local cabinet-maker, ad- 
vertised on November 16, 1824, in the 
Courier that he had the following articles 
of furniture for sale: "LaFayette Bedsteads, 
the most elegant pattern offered in this city, 
prices $55 a 65; Bureaus $16 a 25; ... 
Ladies Work Tables, large size $18 a 
20 " 

Based on the purchasing power of a 
dollar in 1824 against that of today (1955), 
which would have been approximately 10 
to 1, a Lafayette bed would have cost at 
today's prices between $550. and $650. 

Dearth of Local Furniture 


part of the Charleston cabinet-makers and 
so large a demand for their work, why is 
there today such a dearth of early, locally- 
made furniture? The question is often 
asked, and it is a very reasonable one. The 
following considerations give the answer: 
conflagrations, acts of God, migration of 
families, wars, the normal wearing out of 
furniture, and the sale of furniture. 

Conflagrations: From its earliest history 
Charleston has been afflicted not only by 
many fires but by many conflagrations. 
Maps of areas destroyed by these various 
conflagrations, placed as an overlay on a 
map of the older part of Charleston, give 
an appalling picture; it becomes imme- 
diately apparent that at one time or another 
almost every part of the old city has been 
burned away. 

One of the conflagrations that most cer- 
tainly accounts for our kck of furniture of 
the earlier style occurred in 1740. The fire 
destroyed over three hundred houses in the 
oldest and most populated section of the 


city. It was of such magnitude and caused 
so much destruction that the British Parlia- 
ment voted twenty thousand pounds 
Sterling for the relief of the sufferers. 

In 1778 another conflagration occurred 
which burned more than two hundred fifty 
dwellings besides stores and outbuildings. 
Much of the area destroyed had suffered 
similarly from the fire of 1740. Again in 
1796 another large portion of the town was 
laid in ruins. "Five hundred chimnies were 
counted from which the buildings had been 
burnt." In 1810 some two hundred houses 
were burned. St. Philip's Church and many 
other buildings were destroyed by fire in 
1835. Three years later fire wiped out the 
northern part of the city. Several people 
were killed when buildings were blown up 
in the effort to arrest the progress of the 
flames. It is said that the fire did major 
damage to over one thousand buildings, 
and that the light of the flames was visible 
eighty miles away. The banner heading 
which appeared in the newspaper: "One 
third of Charleston in Ruins," was literally 

In 1861 the worst fire of all struck the 
city. It started in the eastern part of the city 
and, fanned by a stiff northeasterly wind, 
swept across the entire city in a south- 
westerly direction, destroying everything 
in its way-fine residences, churches, and 
public buildings. When the fire eventually 
burned itself out nothing was left but a 
charred area of over five hundred forty 
acres. 1 The amount of fine furniture lost in 
this conflagration is incalculable. 

Similar disasters occurred in the country. 
Plantation house after plantation house was 
burned, usually as the result of someone's 
carelessness, and it is not difficult to imagine 
what great quantities of furniture must 
have been destroyed in these handsome, 
almost palatial residences. 

Height 6'ft"; width 42J/ 2 " ; depth 23" 


Height 6'/i"; width 43 '/ 4 "; depth 23 %" 

Height <5'4"; width 42"; depth 23%" 


Height 6'lVz"; width 42 / 2 "; depth 22%" 

Height 31"; width 38"; depth 22 H" 

Height 30K"; width 36"; depth 1954" 

Height 37 }4"; width 41 '/ 2 "; 
depth-center 23", end 1954* 



Height 33"; width 30 5 / 8 "; depth 17%" 

Fig. 11 


Height 38"; width 41"; depth 22%" 


Height 34H"; width 42%"; depth 23 3 / 4 " 

Fig. 12 


Height 38"; width 42/2"; depth 23 '/ 4 " 

Fig. 14 


(see Fig, 13) 

Fig. IS 


Height 7'11"; width 48"; depth 24" 

Height 8'4"; width 46'/ 2 "; depth 22'/ 8 " 

fig. H BED Height 7'W; width 49 I / 4 "; length 67" 

Fire, then, has in all probability been the 
greatest destroyer of Charleston furniture. 

Acts of God: After so many conflagra- 
tions one would think that Charleston had 
suffered its full share of catastrophes but 
there have been other disasters of almost 
equally devastating effect. From the earliest 
days hurricanes have visited the city with 
monotonous regularity, with an occasional 
tornado by way of variety. Some of these 
hurricanes and tornadoes have been of ex- 
treme severity, causing great damage not 
only to shipping but to houses as well. 
There is hardly an old house still standing 
that has not been unroofed at one time or 
another. The storms were almost always ac- 
companied by torrential rains which caused 
inestimable ruin to the interior of the 
roofless building and to the fine furniture 
which it contained. In the early part of the 
nineteenth century a small tornado un- 
roofed one of the largest and most preten- 
tious houses in the city, causing over twenty 
thousand dollars' damage to the furniture 
and furnishings. 2 Even by today's scale of 
values, an enormous amount of handsome 
furniture must have been badly damaged if 
not totally destroyed. 

Charleston was struck by a severe earth- 
quake in 1886. The walls of almost every 
brick house in the city antedating that 
disaster are held together by earthquake 
rods and giant washers-visible evidence of 
the terrible force which wrecked and 
weakened the strongest buildings. Many 
houses and their furnishings were com- 
pletely destroyed. In the lower section of 
the city stand some relatively modern 
houses which are referred to by the older 
inhabitants as "earthquake houses," sig- 
nifying that they are built on the site of 
buildings that had been destroyed by the 

Finally Charleston's climate must be re- 
garded as a potent if unspectacular force in 
the deterioration and ultimate destruction 
of furniture. Charleston stands on ground 
only a few feet above sea-level. Summer 
brings to the city a hot, humid, semi- 
tropical atmosphere which is ruinous to 
fine inlays and veneers, which can be pre- 
served only by constant vigilance on the 
part of the owner. 

Migration of Families: Charleston has pos- 
sibly been less affected than most cities by 
the migration of families. Even so, through- 
out the history of the city, many young 
Charlestonians have moved to other parts 
of the country in search of greater oppor- 
tunities for making a living. Consequently, 
over a period of years a great deal of 
Charleston made furniture has migrated to 
other parts of the country. There is a spe- 
cific record, within the memory of the older 
inhabitants, of a will which provides that 
the furniture of one of the loveliest houses 
in the city must be distributed to the 
various heirs, wherever they might be. Some 
of it went to New Haven, Connecticut, 
some to San Francisco and Chicago, and 
some to Mobile. Charleston-made furniture 
should be looked for, and will probably be 
found, in every part of these United States. 

Wars: Charleston has suffered the indignity 
of being occupied by two invading armies, 
the first time when the city was captured 
by the British in 1780, and the second when 
the Federal troops occupied it in 1865. 

The British, when they evacuated the 
city in 1782, carried away with them in- 
numerable slaves, the bells of St. Michael's 
Church, and quantities of silver. They 
probably did not take much furniture be- 
cause it was too bulky, but they destroyed 


great quantities wantonly. The British 
soldier was adept at looting and he was 
especially violent in his attack upon any 
residence or plantation that belonged to a 


During the War Between the States 
Charleston was subjected for many months 
to long-range bombardment from the Fed- 
eral guns on Morris Island, a distance of 
about three and a half miles. The shells were 
fired indiscriminately into the city and 
caused a great deal of damage. Many houses 
were completely destroyed. The fire from 
the guns was so severe that the entire 
population living in the eastern part of the 
city had to be evacuated And it is painful 
to think of the loss incurred by the wanton 
destruction of many plantation houses that 
were put to the torch by the troops of 
General Sherman. 

The Normal Wearing Out of Furniture: 
Few pieces of Charleston-made furniture 
now exist that do not give evidence of hav- 
ing been repaired. It is usually the foot of 
the piece that has been damaged, the result 
of careless efforts to push or pull it to a 
new position in the room. Josiah Claypool 
(q&.) as early as 1740, says that he "will 
warrant his work for 7 years, the ill usage 
of careless Servants only excepted." s 

Opulent Qiarlestonians probably gave 
little thought to the repairing of furniture. 
When a piece was broken or damaged, the 
owner simply discarded it and bought 
something of a newer fashion to take its 

Sde tf Fvmture: It has been written of 
Maryland furniture: "Much of our best old 
furniture has left the State permanently." * 
The same thing is true of furniture made in 
Charleston. For many years the average 

Charlestonian took his antique furniture 
for granted. It had been there as long as he 
could remember and he didn't give it too 
much thought But in time discriminating 
collectors and dealers discovered it, pur- 
chased it at bargain prices, and shipped it 
out of the State. Many families sold their 
antiques because they were in financial 
difficulties; others, because they had no 
particular interest in antiques and were glad 
to convert them into cash when high prices 
were offered. It is only in comparatively 
recent years that Charlestonians have 
awakened to the value of their antique 
furniture. During the past fifty years all of 
South Carolina has been periodically and 
systematically combed for antiques by 
dealers and collectors. The fact is lamen- 
table but it is not reasonable to deplore it. 
Certainly the antique dealer is in a perfectly 
legitimate business. The only way in which 
he can keep up his stock is to visit various 
parts of the country for new material. And 
if he can buy antique furniture at bargain 
prices so much the better for him. And if 
the owner wishes to dispose of his furniture 
because of monetary need or because he 
prefers the cash, that is his own affair, how- 
ever regrettable it may seem. 

In view of the foregoing considerations 
one begins to wonder whether there is any 
Charleston-made furniture still in existence. 
As a matter of fact, Charleston still has 
some of its early furniture and there is cer- 
tainly much of it scattered throughout the 
country. Whatever the amount still in ex- 
istence it must be only a small fraction of 
that produced by the early Charleston 
cabinet-makers; and ur comparison with 
extant furniture produced during the same 
period by other cities, comparatively few 
pieces of Charleston-made furniture have 




and furniture making can be regarded as 
definitive until all the surviving pieces have 
been located, identified, and completely de- 
scribed. In the face of so tremendous a task, 
the present work can be presented only as 
a beginning. Its purpose is to open the sub- 
ject, not to close it. If the book in any 
degree stimulates interest in early Charles- 
ton furniture, or encourages present owners 
of antique furniture to examine their pieces 
more carefully for the sake of identifying 
them, or leads to the discovery of pieces 
which have been overlooked or under- 
valued-if it accomplishes any of these 
things the labor that has gone into the 
preparation of the book will have been 
fully justified. 

The study is limited to the cabinet- 
makers who produced furniture in Charles- 
ton from the end of the seventeenth 
century through the first quarter of the 
nineteenth century. The period actually 
covered is about one hundred twenty-five 
years-from the first joiner who made 
furniture [James Beamer, working 1687] to 
about 1825. The latter date is a natural stop- 
ping point, for it marks the end of an era. 
Thereafter furniture lost much of its eight- 
eenth century delicacy and became heavy 
and cumbersome. 

Yet it was during the first twenty-five 
years of the nineteenth century that the 
work of the Charleston cabinet-makers 
reached its peak. In 1810 there were about 
eighty cabinet-makers in the city. The 
number dropped to fifty by 1820 but rose 
to sixty by 1826, in spite of the fact that 
the years between 1810 and 1820 brought 

an increase in the amount of furniture im- 
ported to Charleston. It is not without sig- 
nificance also that in 1820 a mahogany saw- 
mill was established in Charleston. So large 
a volume of business reflects, of course, the 
general increase of wealth in the city and 
the surrounding areas in the years follow- 
ing the Revolution. Fine new houses were 
going up both in Charleston and on the 
plantations; they needed furniture to fill 
them; the owners were in a position to pay 
for good workmanship; and a relatively 
large number of cabinet-makers arose to 
supply the demand. 

The present work has made use of many 
primary sources of information. Wills, 
newspaper advertisements, city directories, 
obituaries, deeds, and inventories have been 
searched diligently for names and dates. Not 
fewer than 1400 inventories have been 
studied, and the information they supplied 
has, after classification and comparison, 
yielded valuable data concerning trends in 
design and changes of fashion. 

It may sometimes appear that undue 
emphasis has been placed on the account 
book of Thomas Elfe (1768-1775). It 
should be remembered, however, that the 
Elfe account book is one of the few such 
documents in existence. It is, in fact, some- 
thing more than a record of accounts. It 
provides detailed descriptions of the kinds 
of furniture Elfe produced and the prices 
he charged; it shows the kinds of woods he 
purchased for his shop; it contains the in- 
ventories which he took; and it gives a list 
of his customers. From one point of view it 
is a unique picture of life and customs in 
Charleston during the last half of the eight- 
eenth century. 


Part 2: WOODS 

In order to have a thorough understand- 
ing of antique fivrniture and -fully to 
appreciate it y it is necessary to have a 
knoivledge of the f uuoods frofn i&hich it is 



Colony, the Lords Proprietors were inter- 
ested in its natural resources. On May 23, 
1674, they instructed Andrew Percivall, 
their representative, as follows: "You are 
to send . . . word what Trees fit for masts 
and to what bignesse and length you have 
any there and at what Distance from Water 
carriage and to send me Samples of the 
timber of your Mast Trees, and of any 
Dying Drugs or any sorte of Tymber or 
Wood that is finely grained or sented that 
you thinke may be fit for Cabinets and 
such other fine Workes." * That there were 
many useful trees in Carolina is a matter of 
record. In 1682 T. A. [Thomas Ashe?] 
"Clerk on Board his Majesties Ship the 
Richmond, which was sent out in the year 
1680, with particular Instructions to en- 
quire into the State of that Country [Caro- 
lina] by his Majesties Special Com- 
mand . . ." made the following report 
about its trees: "It's cloathd with odorif- 
erous and fragrant Woods, flourishing in 
perpetual and constant Verdures, viz. the 
lofty Pine, the sweet smelling Cedar and 
Cyprus Trees, of both which are composed 
goodly Boxes, Chests, Tables, Scrittores, 
and Cabinets. . . . Wallnut Trees there 
are of two or three sorts: but the Black 
Wallnut for its Grain, is most esteem'd." 2 
The early colonists quickly found out the 
excellent properties of the local woods and 
used local woods in making their furniture. 
In order to have a thorough understand- 
ing of antique furniture and fully to appre- 
ciate it, it is necessary to have a knowledge 
of the woods from which it is made. In this 

country the primary woods used were ma- 
hogany, walnut, maple, and cherry. Their 
use was determined to a large extent on the 
availability of the wood needed to make a 
piece of furniture. This was equally true of 
the secondary woods used in its construc- 
tion. Overland transportation in the eight- 
eenth and early nineteenth centuries was 
slow and laborious. On land the usual 
method was by cart. Only a few logs, even 
if squared, could be loaded upon a single 
cart and at best the cart was capable of 
traveling only a few miles a day. Even at 
low wages the cost of transportation must 
have been considerable. Therefore, the 
cabinet-maker used the wood that grew 
nearest to him and was most suited to his 

Due to Charleston's proximity to the 
West Indies, mahogany soon became the 
predominant wood used by the local 
cabinet-maker. In 1740 mahogany was be- 
ing brought into the port of Charleston in 
such quantities that the duty on it was 
repealed. At that time the Commons House 
of Assembly stated that "it was not the In- 
tention of this House to lay a Duty on 
Mahogany Plank . . . And that the Public 
Treasurer of the Province do not demand 
or take any Duty for the same." 3 The duty 
had been 20 per 100 value. It was 
cheaper to transport a mahogany log by 
water from some island in the West Indies 
than it was to haul a log of some native 
wood a few miles by cart. 

One of the things strikingly revealed by 
the inventories is the amount of mahogany 
furniture owned by people of moderate 
means. It was definitely not a rich man's 
luxury. The inventory of a man who was a 
bricklayer, for example, reveals that he 
owned many pieces of mahogany/ 


West Indian or St. Domngo Mahogany 
(Simetenia mhagoni) 


hogany was brought into Charleston from 
the West Indies. As early as 1725, however, 
mahogany was being transhipped to Eng- 
land. 1 It must have been known, of course, 
to the local cabinet-makers, though at that 
time they were using the native woods. After 
so long a time there is no way of accurately 
telling when the wood became fashionable. 
It is to be noted that in 1732, Broomhead 
and Blythe (q.v.) advertised: "Cabinet 
Work, chests of Drawers, and Mahogany 
Tables and Chairs made after the best man- 
ner; . . . Where all sorts of bespoke Work 
is made ... at the lowest price. . . ." 2 
There seems to be nothing unusual in this 
advertisement. However, whether mahog- 
any was in general use before this date 
cannot be determined from advertisements 
since the South Carolina Gazette, the only 
medium of advertisement, was not founded 
until 1732. 

In an inventory dated April 21, 1724, is 
listed a mahogany table valued at 11. 3 
This appears to be the first mention of any 
piece of mahogany furniture, though it 
must not be forgotten that inventories usu- 
ally show a time lag of several years. From 
1724 until about 1740 mahogany appears 
sporadically in the inventories, but after 
that time it became commonplace. And by 
1750 the wood had become so common in 
Charleston that it was listed in the news- 
paper along with the other commodities 
such as rice, indigo, and naval stores. In 
1749 the price quoted was 27s. 104 per 
hundred; in March of the following year 
the price had dropped to 12s. lOd. per hun- 
dred, 4 a clear indication that a large amount 
was being brought into the port. In 1786 


the Charleston cabinet-makers were making 
so many beds that mahogany was being 
imported in "Bed Post" size. 5 It is fre- 
quently spoken of as Jamaican Mahogany 
or occasionally as Hispaniola Mahogany. 

Along with the change of style and with 
the revival of the use of crotched woods, 6 
we find the following advertisement in one 
of the local newspapers for March 27, 1819: 
"for Sale-A cargo consisting of Prime St. 
Domingo Mahogany. All Branch Wood. 
The whole selected by a judge in St. 
Domingo, and is considered superior to any 
cargo imported into this port for many 
years past." 7 The local cabinet-makers were 
keeping abreast of the times. Much Charles- 
ton-made furniture has superbly matched 
mahogany veneer. 

There was such a demand for mahogany 
among not only the local but the Southern 
cabinet-makers that a mahogany sawmill 
was established in Charleston in 1820. The 
notice of its operation appeared on March 
17, 1820, in the City Gazette and Commer- 
cial Daily Advertiser: 
scribers have the satisfaction to inform 
all persons engaged in the above line, 
that they have just put into operation, 
in the City of Charleston, their SAW 
MILL, (the only one at present in the 
Southern States) erected for the sole 
purpose of Sawing Mahogany into 
Veneering, &c. 

From the sample produced of its 
cutting, and inspection of the Machin- 
ery, it has been pronounced by the 
most competent judges, to be equal to 
any in the Northern States. 

They now offer to supply such per- 
sons as may favor them with their cus- 
tom, with any quantity and quality of 
Mahogany Boards or Veneering, 
agreeable to order and at the shortest 

Having supplied themselves with a 
large and choice assortment of the 

above Wood, they will be able to sup- 
ply their customers on as low, and per- 
haps lower terms than they ever had 

All orders from abroad, directed to 
the Subscribers, post paid, and with 
due reference to some person in this 
pkce, will meet with the strictest at- 
tention by John Egleston and B. S. 

The Editors of the following papers, 
will publish the foregoing advertise- 
ment once a week for three months, 
and forward their bills to this Office 
viz: Intelligencer, Petersburg, Virginia; 
Cape Fear Recorder, Wilmington, 
N. G; Centinel, Newbern, N. G; 
Observer, Fayettesville, N. G; Regis- 
ter, Raleigh, N. G; Chronicle and 
Herald, Augusta, Geo.; Republican, 
Museum, and Georgian, Savannah, 

One very significant thing can be de- 
duced from the request that certain Editors 
carry this advertisement in their respective 
newspapers: furniture in appreciable quan- 
tities was being made throughout the South 
at that time. 

Honduras Mahogany 
(Smetenm macrophytta) 

of the West Indian Mahogany, was brought 
into Charleston at what is thought to be a 
kter date. Charleston had established trade 
relations with the Honduras coast as early 
as 1740, 1 but because the West Indian 
species was nearer and more abundant, it 
may be supposed that Honduras mahogany 
found little market in Charleston until the 
West Indian mahogany became more 
scarce* In the 1760's it became firmly estab- 
lished although it never commanded as high 
a price as the West Indian species. In the 
newspaper listings, Jamaica Mahogany (as 

it was then called) was always quoted at a 
higher figure. Thus we find: 

Jamaica Mahogany 5d 6d. per foot 
Honduras Mahogany 4d. 5d. per foot 2 

The old newspaper files contain large 
numbers of advertisements stating that one 
of the local brokers has just received a ship- 
ment of St. Domingo or Honduras Ma- 
hogany, sometimes as much as a schooner 
load of logs at a time. 3 

The difference between the two species 
of mahogany is probably best told in 
Thomas Sheraton's own words. In 1803 he 

"Hispaniola or Santo Domingo pro- 
duces mahogany not much in use with 
us. From [Honduras] is imported the 
principal kind of mahogany in use 
amongst cabinet-makers, which gener- 
ally bears the name of Honduras ma- 
hogany, and sometimes Baywood from 
the bay or arm of the sea which runs 
up to it. The grain of Honduras wood 
is of a different quality from that of 
Cuba, which is close and hard, without 
black speckles, and of a rosy hue, and 
sometimes strongly figured; but Hon- 
duras wood is of an open nature, with 
black or grey spots, and frequently of 
a more flashy figure than Spanish. The 
best quality of Honduras wood is 
known by its being free from chalky 
and black speckles, and when the 
colour is inclined to a dark gold hue. 
The common sort of it looks brisk at a 
distance, and of a lively pale red; but 
on close inspection is of an open and 
close grain, and of a spongy appear- 
ance." * 

Southern Red Cedar 
(Juniperus silidcok) l 


Charleston until mahogany became com- 


monplace, cedar was the dominant wood 
used in furniture. It was readily available, 
for it grows abundantly along the Carolina 
littoral; it is immune to worms, it keeps out 
vermin, and it is workable. In 1700 Lawson 
wrote: "Of this wood [cedar] Tables, 
Wainscots, and other necessaries are made, 
and esteemed for its sweet smell." 2 

The inventories of the end of the seven- 
teenth century reveal that cedar was used 
not only for tables but for armchairs as 
well. Later on one finds records of a great 
number of cedar clothespresses, cedar 
chests of drawers, sideboards, writing 
desks, couches, dressing tables, scrutores 
and, occasionally a cedar bedstead In fact, 
articles of cedar furniture are listed as late 
as the early part of the nineteenth century. 
But by the middle of the eighteenth cen- 
tury, if one is to judge by the inventories, 
the amount used had appreciably declined, 
cedar having been supplanted by ma- 

Cedar was also used by the Charleston 
cabinet-makers as a secondary wood, that 
is, for drawer linings, etc., though this was 
not confined to the local artisans, cabinet- 
makers in the other colonies having been 
quick to see its advantages. 

Cedar must have been held in high esteem 
in the early days. In 1722 we find the fol- 
lowing items listed in the same inventory: 3 

1 large oval Cedar Table 8-0-0 
1 Walnut oval Table 4-0-0 
1 small oval cedar Table 4-0-0 

Again in 173 3 we find: 4 

1 Cedar oval Table 
1 Mahogany ditto 


One of the most noticeable things in the 
early inventories is the large number of 


oval cedar tables, presumably of the gate- 
legged variety. 

With one exception none of this early 
cedar furniture appears to have survived. 

(Jugkns nigrti) 

lina. It is not common in the coastal region, 
but it increases in abundance, size, and 
quality as one nears the foot-hills. This is 
the same species of walnut that is found in 
the northern part of America. It was never 
used to any great extent by the local 
cabinet-makers. Undoubtedly Elliott gives 
the correct explanation for the fact 
when he says in his Botany: ". . . were it 
not for the facility with which Mahogany 
is obtained, it [walnut] would form a great 
portion of the furniture of our houses." * 
It was infinitely cheaper to bring in ship- 
loads of mahogany than to haul walnut in 
by cart from the foothills. 

What is thought to be the first record of 
walnut furniture in Charleston is a black 
walnut chest of drawers, appraised at 10 
and listed in an inventory dated 1722. 2 One 
gets the very definite impression from the 
later inventories that individual owners 
seldom possessed more than one or two 
large pieces of furniture in walnut, though 
walnut chairs were fairly common. The 
heavier pieces were "bureaus," settees, 
tables, chests of drawers, desk and book- 
cases, bedsteads, and clothespresses. Walnut 
occurs in the inventories well into the early 
part of the nineteenth century. Frequently 
it is called "Virginia Walnut," probably to 
differentiate it from its close relatives, the 
The earliest records reveal that walnut 

apparently had a higher value than the other 
woods with the possible exception of cedar. 
An instance occurs in an inventory dated 
1735: 3 

1 large Mahogany oval Table 15-0-0 

1 large Walnut ditto 25-0-0 

After that date mahogany predominates. 

Strangely enough, in spite of its com- 
parative scarcity along the coast of South 
Carolina, walnut was exported to England 
from Charleston. 4 

early nineteenth centuries by the local 
cabinet-makers. D. J. Browne in The Sylva 
America (1832) states that "cabinet-makers 
also choose it for the inside of mahogany 
furniture." 2 One cabinet-maker, William 
Luyten (q.v.), knowing the indestructi- 
bility of cypress, used a cypress bedstead in 
pkce of a tombstone on his wife's grave, 
which can be seen to this day in St 
Michael's churchyard. 

(Taxodium distichum) 


the "wood eternal," were well known to 
the early colonists, who used it for many 
purposes among which was that of furni- 
ture, but not to the same extent as cedar. It 
was used for bedsteads, presses, cupboards, 
desks, tables (both square and oval), book- 
cases, and even buffets, but at no time did 
cypress ever command the same price as 
cedar. It appears in inventories throughout 
the eighteenth century. 

Because of its excellent properties and 
availability cypress grows in the imme- 
diate vicinity of Charleston-cypress was 
used by the local cabinet-makers as a 
secondary wood, chiefly for the sides and 
bottoms of drawers. Thomas Elfe (q.v.) 
continually purchased cypress, at one time 
in the amount of 8870 feet. At another time 
he specified that it must be % inch in thick- 
ness, which is the thickness of the cypress 
frequently found in the drawer bottoms of 
pieces attributed to him. 1 Cypress is men- 
tioned in the inventories of Josiah Murphy 
(q.v.) and of Thomas Lining (q.v.), so 
undoubtedly it was very generally used as 
a secondary wood in the eighteenth and 

Red Buy 
(Persea borbonia) 


little known wood, was used by the eight- 
eenth century cabinet-makers of Charles- 
ton. The wood takes on a lovely polish, and 
has beautiful wood rays. Mark Catesby in 
his Natural History of Carolina (1732) 
writes that "The Wood is fine grain'd, and 
of excellent use for cabinets etc." 1 The 
inventory of William Hammet, a local 
chairmaker, made on January 8, 1738, 
shows that he had about 150 feet of Red 
Bay valued at 7, Its use was probably 
limited because of the fact that trees of 
sufficient size for furniture-making were 
rare. And in 1819 Andrew Michaux in his 
Sylva of North America 2 remarks that 
although red bay is used by cabinet-makers 
one must go to the uninhabited portions of 
Georgia and Florida to find large trees, a 
clear indication that by that time the large 
trees in the vicinity of Charleston had al- 
ready been cut. The general range of the 
red bay is in the coastal region extending 
as far north as Southeastern Virginia. Small 
specimens are common throughout the lit- 

Red bay seems to have been used prin- 
cipally for tables, though occasionally there 


is mention of a desk or bedstead At no 
time does it appear to be common. Judg- 
ing from inventory values, it compared 
favorably with mahogany in the eyes of 
the Charlestonians. 8 

If a red bay piece of furniture ever 
comes to light and can be recognized as 
red bay, there is an excellent probability 
that it is of local origin. 

was most certainly used as a secondary 
wood and is frequently found in sideboards 
as well as in other pieces of furniture. Any 
piece of furniture containing long-leaf pine 
as a secondary wood is probably of South- 
ern origin, for this species of pine does not 
grow farther North than the area of Nor- 
folk, Virginia. 

(Liriodendron tulipifera) 


should not have discovered the use of 
poplar before the time of Thomas Elfe 
(1747-1775). The inventories prove con- 
clusively that very little poplar was used 
for furniture in the early days. Elfe seems 
to have employed it for bedsteads, of which 
he made fifty-five during an eight year 
period (1768-1775). In addition, his ac- 
count book reveals that he made frequent 
purchases of "poplar Plank." The inven- 
tory of Robert Lkon (q.v.) shows that 
he had "a parcel of Poplar Plank" valued 
at 5. It appears to have been used for the 
most part as a secondary wood in the last 
decade of the eighteenth and the first quar- 
ter of the nineteenth century. 

Long-leaf Pine 
(Pinus pdustris) 


the most used of the several pines that grow 
in the vicinity of Charleston, though not to 
any great extent for furniture. From time 
to time inventories make mention of a pine 
table or a pine bedstead Long-leaf pine 


White Pine 
(Pinus Strobus) 

to South Carolina, was an important factor 
in Charleston-made furniture. If one is to 
judge from the newspaper advertisements, 
great quantities of white pine were shipped 
to the port of Charleston after the Revolu- 
tion. In fact, white pine became so common 
that in 1788 it was quoted in the news- 
papers along with other commodities, the 
quotation price at that time being 6 shillings 
per 100 feet. 1 Some of the pine came from 
Philadelphia. 2 Often it is spoken of merely 
as "Northern Pine Boards," 3 or "Albany 
Pine." Occasionally a sloop from Maine or 
New Hampshire came in loaded with lum- 
ber and spars of white pine. 4 

The reason for these large importations 
of white pine was the fact that the post- 
Revolutionary houses in Charleston con- 
tained many more mouldings than did the 
pre-Revolutionary ones. The house-joiner 
and carpenter quickly learned the supe- 
riority of white pine over cypress for the 
carving of mouldings. Cypress usually 
leaves a slightly fuzzy edge, but white pine 
is clean cut and very easily worked. 

Misapprehension concerning these facts 
has led to certain errors in tie identifica- 
tion of Charleston-made furniture. Until 
recently any piece of furniture found 

locally containing white pine was sum- 
marily judged to be of Northern origin. 
This is no longer true. A secretary made 
for James Jervey by James Hefferman, a 
local cabinet-maker, is owned by his de- 
scendants. They still retain the receipt from 
Hefferman which is dated May 9, 1809. 
The secondary wood used in the construc- 
tion of the secretary is white pine. There 
is also in existence a satinwood secretary 
which bears the label of R. Walker, 53 
Church St., Charleston, S.C. Walker, a 
Scotsman, was working in Charleston by 
1799. He too used white pine for the bot- 
toms of the larger drawers that are in the 
secretary. William W. Purse, another local 
cabinet-maker, made a bookcase for James 
Jervey. It is owned by one of his descend- 
ants who also retains the receipt It is signed 
by Purse and dated November 8, 1822. 
White pine is used as a secondary wood in 
its construction. In still another piece, a 
lovely serpentine chest of drawers, the 
drawer sides are of long-leaf pine, and the 
bottoms are made out of magnificent heart 
cypress, clear proof of local manufacture, 
Nevertheless, the dustboards which extend 
to the rear are made out of white pine. 
Another case in point is provided by the 
secondary woods used in the construction 
of a large secretary-wardrobe. The bottom, 
sides, and backs of the large drawers as well 
as the bottoms of the sliding shelves are 
made of cypress. The dustboards, the en- 
tire rectangular top supporting the pedi- 
ment, and a three-inch vertical supporting 
strip for the back are made out of white 
pine. Roughly, the secondary wood used 
in this piece consists of about 60% cypress 
and 40% white pine. 

Such examples make it clear that the late 
eighteenth and early nineteenth century 
Charleston cabinet-makers commonly used 
white pine as a secondary wood. 

Since an appreciable amount of furniture 
in Charleston contains white pine as a 
secondary wood, under no circumstances 
should any piece of furniture that has white 
pine used in its construction be dismissed 
as an importation until it has been thor- 
oughly examined Single pieces of Charles- 
ton-made furniture are in existence that 
have as many as four secondary woods- 
cypress, poplar, white pine, and ash. 

Southern Red Maple 
(Acer rubrum) 

tion of maple appears in an inventory made 
in 1733, when 6 maple mated (sic) chairs 
were appraised at 6 and 6 Maple Cain 
Chairs were valued at filO. 1 From then on 
only an occasional piece of maple furniture 
is listed, clearly indicating that maple was 
not used to any extent in furniture-making 
in Charleston. It is quite possible that the 
pieces so rarely listed were importations 
from New England. Occasionally, maple 
was used as a secondary wood. 

The Southern red maple, which grows 
abundantly along the coast, is a much 
softer wood and should not be confused 
with the hard maples of the Northern 

White Oak 
(Quercus alba) 

vicinity of Charleston, was little used by 
the local makers of furniture. Rarely is a 
piece of oak furniture listed in the early 
inventories. It was probably used to some 
extent, however, as a secondary wood. 
There are in existence certain pieces of 


furniture, apparently of Charleston manu- 
facture, that have oak as their secondary 
wood. No doubt white oak was used by 
some of the London-trained cabinet-makers 
who later worked in Charleston. During 
their apprenticeship they had used oak and 
when they found a very similar wood in 
Carolina they continued using it. It was 
also used as a secondary wood by the Balti- 
more cabinet-makers. 1 Recently a letter has 
been received from the United States 
Forest Laboratory at Madison, Wisconsin, 
stating that they know of no way of telling 
the English oak from its American cousin. 2 

(Zanthoxylum flavum) 

appear to have been generally used by the 
eighteenth century Charleston cabinet- 
makers. This is not true for the nineteenth 
century. Robert Walker, a local craftsman, 
advertised in the City Gazette on January 
31, 1810, that he had for sale some "Ma- 
hogany Boards, Plank Veneers, Sattin 
Wood, Holly ..." also the "best Dublin 
Glue." Because of Charleston's proximity 
to the West Indies, the satinwood probably 
was the variety that grows there and there- 
fore was easily imported. Walker appears 
to have been one of the few who used satin- 
wood as a primary wood although time may 
reveal that other local craftsmen used it in 
a similar manner. 

Other Woods 

des of hickory indigenous to coastal Caro- 
lina were used occasionally for chairs. 


SWEET GUM (Liquidamber styraciflua): 
As early as 1700 Lawson wrote of the 
sweet gum treet: "No wood has scarce 
a better grain; whereof fine Tables, Draw- 
ers, and other Furniture might be made. 
Some of it curiously curled." l Apparently 
the early colonists did not use this wood; 
in over fourteen hundred inventories gum 
furniture is mentioned only twice. Once in 
1752 a large oval gum table is appraised at 
8 and in the following year another is 
listed. 2 It does not appear that the local 
cabinet-makers ever used gum as a sec- 
ondary wood, although it is extremely 
abundant in the Charleston area. Unless 
properly dried, sweet gum has a tendency 
to warp and for that reason does not rec- 
ommend itself for furniture making or 
fine cabinet work. 

WHITE ASH (Fraxinus americana): 
Ash is rarely mentioned as being used for 
furniture, and then only for bedsteads; but 
it was frequently used as a secondary wood, 
especially in the gates of Pembroke tables. 
Occasionally the inventories of cabinet- 
makers list it; for example, the account 
book of Thomas Elfe (q.v.) reveals that he 
frequently purchased ash planks. 1 Ash can 
easily be confused with oak but, unlike oak, 
it has no wood ray.* 

PALMETTO (Sabal Palmetto): The very 
early inventories frequently mention Pal- 
metto chairs or Palmetto-bottom chairs. 
On the face of it this is puzzling, but the 

* The woods of the oaks feature prominent ribbons 
of tissue, which, on the cross sections of logs, appear 
to radiate outward from the center of the log to the 
bark. These ribbons are known as wood rays and 
serve as storage tissues in the living stem. On the 
faces of flat sawn boards the ends of the rays appear 
as long, spindle-shaped bodies often y 2 " to 3" high 
along the grain. On the quarter, they appear as 
splashes or spangles and lend to the attractiveness of 
die figure. Rift cut or quarter-sawn oak is a term 
applied to lumber sawn at an angle of 45 to these 
rays and results in an unusual figure which is largely 
traceable to the ray tissue. 

inventories seem to mean that the seats were was sometimes used for tables in the first 

woven out of palmetto leaves which, when half of the eighteenth century. 1 

properly braided, make a very strong ma- HOLLY (Ilex opaca): John Drayton 

terial, while the chair frames were made (c. 1807) says that the wood of the holly 

out of one of the local woods. "is very white; as such used by Cabinet 

MULBERRY (Mows sp.): Mulberry Makers, for inlaying Mahogany/' * 





Fig. 19 

Fig. 20 

Fig. 21 



Fig. 22 

Fig. 23 

Fig. 24 

Fig. 25 


OF BEDPOST (see Fig. 17) 

Fig. 28 FOOT OF BEDPOST (see Fig. 17) 

Fig. 29 DETAILS 


Height 7'6',i"; width 39' /4 "; depth 22tf" 

Height 7W; width 39"; depth 23 / 2 

Height 7'10 3 / 4 "; width 40/ 4 "; depth 22 fc 

Height 8'5"; width 44"; depth 23 \" 

Height 8'5h"; width 48 H"; depth 22 l / 2 " 


Height 8'9y 2 "; width 47%"; depth 24/ 4 " 




tunately, give any clear indication of the 
kinds of woods used in beds of the late 
seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. 
In all probability both cedar and cypress 
were used. Beds are commonly spoken of 
as a "bed and furniture" or as a "feather 
bed and furniture" or occasionaly as a 
"standing bedstead." In the last decade of 
the seventeenth century there is frequent 
mention of cabin beds. The middle of the 
eighteenth century brought in field bed- 
steads and camp bedsteads. By that time 
also the mahogany bedstead was common. 

In spite of the amount of material used 
in beds for the pavilion, curtains, valances, 
and testers, there must have been a con- 
siderable difference in the value of the beds 
themselves; the point is illustrated in an 
inventory dated January 26, 1725: 1 

One bed and furniture in lower room 


One bed and furniture in an upper 

room 100. 

One bed and furniture in another 

upper room 60. 

One bed and furniture in another upper 

room 40. 

In 1745 the estate of James Mathews listed 
"one Blue Chintz bed and furniture with 
pavilion" appraised at 200. John Mc- 
Kenzie (1771) had a "Mahogany Bedstead 
with Bedding, Curtains & complete" valued 
at 600-a remarkable price even if it was 
in local currency. Thomas Elfe (q.v.) at 
that time (1768-1775) was charging only 
50 for his finest mahogany bedsteads with 
carved knees and ball and claw feet. 

Though mahogany appears to have been 
the wood generally used, the inventories 
reveal that other woods were also used for 
bedsteads. Very occasionally an ash bed- 
stead is listed; and from time to time one 
encounters the mention of a pine bedstead, 
usually in the inventory of a person of 
very small means. Only once is an oak bed- 
stead listed. 2 Cedar and cypress bedsteads 
persisted until the end of the eighteenth 
century. But mahogany bedsteads were the 
kinds most common by 1750, even in the 
homes of people of moderate means. 

A noteworthy exception to the popu- 
larity of the mahogany bedstead appears in 
the number of poplar bedsteads produced 
by Thomas Elfe during his working period 
in Charleston (1747-1775). His account 
book (1768-1775) shows that during that 
time he made fifty-five poplar bedsteads. 
Sometimes he made one with poplar head- 
posts and mahogany f ootposts. 

Only one of these earlier beds has come 
to our attention. It is now in the Heyward- 
Washington House, a branch of the 
Charleston Museum, and is attributed to 
Elfe. The posts are of mahogany, the rails 
of poplar. The footposts have claw and 
ball feet with carved knees, the headposts 
are plain with a stump foot, and the head- 
board is movable. The rails have knobs to 
which ropes were originally attached to 
support the sacking upon which the bed- 
ding rested (Fig. 17). The other beds pro- 
duced in Charleston are either late eight- 
eenth century or early nineteenth century. 
These beds are generally distinguished by 
their large size, in width, overall height, 
and height of rail. An exception appears in 
an inventory made on April 2, 1795, which 
lists "5 Small Mahogany Bedsteads." 3 Be- 
fore antiques came to be fully appreciated, 
many of these large beds had the bottom of 
their posts cut off in order to lower them 


so that the owners would not need steps to 
get into bed or bruise various parts of their 
anatomy if they fell out. Most have ma- 
hogany rails with a small beading on the 
upper and outside edge. 

The headboard, which was usually made 
of one of the less valuable woods, was 
movable. It was held in place by two strips 
attached to each headpost, usually of the 
same kind of wood, and was easily re- 
moved. Presumably the purpose of remov- 
ing the headboard was to get a freer circula- 
tion of air. It is not to be inferred, however, 
that all Charleston-made beds have movable 
headboards. Many that are thought to be 
of local origin have the customary tenoned 
headboard. What appears to be another 
Charleston innovation, due again to climatic 
conditions, was the method used to support 
the bedding [mattress]. Slats approximately 
five indies wide, laid from side to side at 
intervals of about five inches, were used to 
support the bedding instead of the cus- 
tomary rope or canvas sacking. Travelers 
from other parts of the country noted this 
fact. Ebenezer Kellog, a New England 
school teacher who visited Charleston, 
commented on the hardness of the beds and 
said that the use of slats "is the common 
way of fitting bedsteads here." Sheraton in 
his Dictionary [1803] advocated the use of 
laths for this purpose but the Charleston 
cabinet-makers had adopted this method 
prior to this time. There is evidence that 
this type of construction spread from 
Charleston northward at least as far as 

Other characteristics of the Charleston 
bed of this period are mahogany headposts 
which are usually plain; the carved rope 
motif on the footposts; the double-leaf 
carving on the top to compensate for its 
height, each reed ending in a half-circle 
with based lines below on a splayed sur- 

face (Fig. 142); and finally the unusually 
heavy spike, presumably to take care of the 
wooden cornice. 

Many of these characteristics, of course, 
may be found on beds made in other parts 
of the country, but when several occur in 
one bed there is an excellent chance that it 
is of Charleston origin. 

Tester-tops (or cornices, as we now 
know them) were probably first used be- 
fore the middle of the eighteenth century 
when mahogany beds became established. 
If Fife's account book can be taken as good 
evidence, tester-tops were very common 
by the third quarter of that century. Elf e 
made large numbers of them of cypress or 
mahogany. It is unlikely that any of these 
early cornices have survived; even those of 
a later date are rare. Presumbably, as the 
years brought changes in style the cornices 
were removed, stored in the attic, and 
eventually thrown away. 

Elfe usually equipped his beds with cast- 
ers, and doubtless his contemporaries also 
used them. Since none of their account 
books has come to light the fact must re- 
main inferential. Elfe was careful to make 
an extra charge of 2 for a set of bed 

Double Chests of Drawers 

commonly called, chest-on-chests, were 
numerous in Charleston during the last half 
of the eighteenth century. Inventories 
sometimes show that as many as three such 
chests were to be found in a single residence 
of a person of means. 1 While it is a well- 
known fact that double chests were made 
in other parts of the country, they are very 
definitely associated with Charleston; and 


any double chest, wherever found, should 
be carefully scrutinized to see whether it 
has any characteristics that identify it as a 
Charleston-made piece. 

In his account book, which covers an 
eight year period (1768-1775), Thomas 
Elf e reveals that during that time he made 
twenty-eight double chests of drawers. The 
prices varied according to the wishes of his 
customers. A plain one was priced at 75 
or 80; one with a desk made out of the 
top drawer of the lower section cost 95; 
a "pediment head cut through" cost 5 
extra and the same amount was charged for 
a fret. These prices were in local currency. 

It is not to be supposed, however, that 
Elf e was the only cabinet-maker who made 
double chests of drawers, for at that time 
about thirty-four other cabinet-makers 
were working in Charleston, several of 
whom advertised that they would make 
such articles of furniture. One cabinet- 
maker, Richard Magrath, advertised in 
1772 that he made "Double chests of 
Drawers, with neat and light Pediment 
Heads, which take off and put on occasion- 
ally. . . ." 2 Though the double chest did 
not become common until the last half of 
the eighteenth century, an inventory dated 
1734 lists a double chest of drawers valued 
at 15. 3 

All double chests that have come to our 
attention were made of mahogany with the 
drawer sides and bottoms constructed of 
heart cypress. The drawer fronts of many 
of these double chests are made of figured 
mahogany, veneered on mahogany, al- 
though one has been found that is veneered 
on soft maple. Others have solid mahogany 
drawer fronts. In the construction of the 
back, two types have been discovered: in 
one type the rear of the side panel has been 
rabbeted and the back fitted into it; in the 
other, the side panel is grooved, the back 

being fitted into the groove and inserted 
from the top. The latter mode of construc- 
tion can be easily ascertained by feeling the 
outside edges of the back panel. Those that 
are fitted into the groove are slightly tapered 
toward the edge. Most of the double chests 
have dustboards (made out of cypress) 
that extend almost to the rear; a few extend 
all the way to the back. The mahogany 
edging is made from 1% to 2 inches in 
width. The foot is usually a well- 
proportioned ogee bracket foot; occasion- 
ally one is found with a plain bracket foot 

Some of these chests are very plain; those 
that do not have a fret usually have a plain 
cornice, frequently with a dentil. Close 
examination reveals that in some the dentil 
is not applied but is an integral part of the 
pediment, being cut out of the solid ma- 
hogany. The lower section usually has 
square corners. However, one chest has 
been found with the corners of the lower 
part forming a quarter-column, fluted and 
stopped-fluted. The upper section of most 
double chests has the corner chamfered, 
usually fluted and stopped-fluted. The 
upper part of the flute ends in an inverted 
"U" or with a crescent superimposed by a 
large dot. With one exception all have five 
flutes, the exception being one with four. 
Those that are fluted have a lamb's tongue 
block at the base which varies somewhat 
both in design and size. One is known that 
has a rather unusual chamfered stile. 

The lower section of these double chests 
has three large drawers extending across 
the piece. The usual sequence of the draw- 
ers of the upper part is to be seen in the 
line drawings. A few have a different 
drawer sequence. Sometimes the upper 
drawer of the lower section is made into a 
desk. Chests having desks made out of the 
drawer are remarkably alike. The entire 
drawer pulls out a few inches and the front, 


which is on quadrants, drops down and 
makes part of the writing desk. On each 
side of the center door there are usually two 
horizontal drawers with three superimposed 
pigeon holes. The door of the center com- 
partment is plain and is flanked by two 
letter-drawers which have a fluted pilaster. 
The top of the flute usually ends in an in- 
verted U U" or with a crescent super- 
imposed by a large dot. 

Measurements of several of these double 
chests reveal that they are remarkably alike 
in size although they vary considerably 
in detail. 

Chests of Drawers 


chests of drawers or, as they were fre- 
quently spoken of, half drawers or dressing 
drawers, were commonly used in Charles- 
ton. In 1732 Broomhead and Blythe adver- 
tised "Chest of Drawers"; many of the 
articles made by this firm at that time were 
constructed of mahogany. In the same year 
James McQellan, another cabinet-maker, 
advertised "New-fashioned chest of 
drawers" and Josiah Qaypool informed the 
public, in 1740, that he would make "Chest 
of Drawers of all fashion fluted or plain." 
Obviously there must have been a heavy 
demand for this article by the early 
Charlestonians. Whether any of these pre- 
mid-eighteenth century drawers has sur- 
vived is problematical. Inasmuch as none 
of these early pieces has been examined 
there is no way of knowing what secondary 
woods were used in their construction. 
Presumably it was cypress. 

During the third quarter of the eighteenth 
century many of the cabinet-makers adver- 
tised chests of drawers along with in- 


numerable other articles of furniture. The 
account book of Thomas Elf e indicates that 
he made several different kinds of drawers. 
His most expensive kind were "Lady's 
Dressg. Drawers with columns," for which 
he charged 45. A "half drawers" cost any- 
where from 28 to 35; and a plain "dress- 
ing drawers" cost from 20 to 26. The 
price range suggests that there must have 
been a large variation between the plain 
drawers and the ladies' dressing drawers 
which Elfe produced. According to one 
entry he made a "Mahogany commode 
dress'g drawers" at a cost of 65. Several 
chests of Charleston origin were made with 
a mahogany slide (Fig. 10). 

The pieces of this period that have been 
examined use cypress as a secondary wood. 
Some have the drawer bottoms made with 
the cross bracing running from front to 
rear (see Elfe) with the grain of the drawer 
bottom running lengthwise with the piece; 
others have been found that have their 
drawer bottoms inserted from rear to front 
with no cross brace. In such pieces the grain 
of the wood usually runs from front to rear 
instead of lengthwise. 

After the Revolution and particularly 
during the last decade of the eighteenth cen- 
tury, the local cabinet-makers advertised 
that they made "Ladies dressing Chests of 
different patterns" or "Ladies commode 
chest of drawers of different forms" or the 
same article "plain straight," an indication 
that the customers were keeping up with 
the latest styles and were not wedded to 
any one form or design. 

The serpentine ladies' dressing drawers 
shown on figure 13 has nicely proportioned 
lines and the drawer fronts are made of 
beautiful crotch mahogany veneered on 
white pine. The top drawer has compart- 
ments with a mahogany sliding shelf. The 
drawer bottoms are made from magnificent 


Height 7' 2"; width 42"; depth 2J" 


heart cypress; the sides are constructed of 
long-leaf pine and the dust boards of white 
pine. The chamfered corners are inlaid with 
crotch mahogany running crosswise, edged 
on either side by a thin strip of satinwood. 
Some serpentine chests, instead of hav- 
ing the drawer fronts veneered on a sec- 
ondary wood, have the fronts made of a 
solid piece of mahogany. In this type of 
construction it was necessary for the local 
cabinet-maker to use a piece of mahogany 
at least four inches thick 

Clothespresses or Wardrobes 


article of furniture that seems to be as- 
sociated with the South and especially with 
Charleston. Today such presses are ordi- 
narily used for the storage of linens; in 
former times they were meant for clothes. 
Clothes were not then hung but were laid 
away 1 and for this purpose several large 
movable trays, running lengthwise, were 
usually placed in die upper part of the 
piece. Very often the trays, with the ex- 
ception of the outer strip, were made of a 
single piece of heart cypress, long-leaf or 
white pine, the narrow outer strip being 
made of mahogany to match the rest of the 
piece. The lower part of most presses con- 
sists of two long drawers with two smaller 
upper ones, although some early ones have 
only the two long drawers. The doors are 
solid. Frequently a piece is found that has 
a lovely pediment, clearly indicating that in 
addition to being utilitarian the press was 
also intended to be ornamental. Even with- 
out the pediment, locally made presses were 
tall in order that they might not look 

dwarfed in the large Charleston rooms with 
their high ceilings. 

The early clothes presses were made 
entirely out of cypress, cedar, red bay, or 
walnut. It is doubtful whether any of the 
presses constructed of these woods have 
survived When mahogany became com- 
mon it generally superseded the former 
woods. As late as 1774 Thomas Elfe was 
making "Close press." 2 His charge for a 
mahogany press was 75; however, if 
"pediment head and casters" were wanted 
the cost was 5 extra. His cypress presses 
usually cost about half that amount. 



tary-wardrobe is indigenous only to 
Charleston. In the advertisements of some 
of the cabinet-makers who worked in the 
last decade of the eighteenth century one 
frequently finds listed a secretary- 
wardrobe. Several such pieces of furniture 
are in existence that are of Charleston 

As its name implies it is a combination of 
desk and clothes-closet. The lower section 
has a pull-out secretary with the front on 
quadrants and usually with drawers be- 
neath; some have paneled doors instead of 
drawers. The upper section is a wardrobe 
with solid-paneled doors, the interior being 
equipped with several sliding shelves to 
hold clothes. Most secretary-wardrobes 
have a well-executed pediment. 

The piece was probably used in the bed- 
room where it added to die convenience of 
a clothes storage space and a desk for the 
owner's correspondence. 



Height 6' 4"; width 42$"; depth 22%" 



were made out of the native woods, which 
were cedar, cypress, red bay, and walnut. 
What is believed to be the earliest piece of 
Charleston-made furniture extant is a gate- 
legged table in the Charleston Museum. It 
is made of cedar and cypress (Fig. 77). 
Presumably many of the early tables, made 
out of the native woods, were constructed 
in a similar manner but, unfortunately, few 
have survived. With the advent of mahog- 
any these tables were probably relegated to 
the kitchen or outhouse and ultimately 

Dining Tables: Until the time that the end 
table was designed to go with the dining 
table, the inventories, as well as the Elf e 
account book, speak of dining tables as 
being "square." Most inventories reveal 
that they usually came in pairs. Probably 
one sufficed for the family (although these 
were usually very large at that time); if 
guests arrived the other table could be 
added to it and, if necessary, still a third. 
Elfe's favorite size for a dining table was 


"3% feet" He usually made them in pairs, 
for which he charged 32. However, he 
also made dining tables in the following 
sizes: 3 feet, 3 feet 3 inches, 3 feet 9 inches, 
4 feet, and one 5y 2 feet wide. Occasionally, 
he made one that was 3 feet by 4 feet. His 
prices varied according to the size of the 

On October 3, 1771, Thomas Chippen- 
dale billed David Garrick, the celebrated 
English actor, for "a set of mahogany Din- 
ing Tables with circular Ends to Joyn to- 
gether complete." 1 Ganick, a leader of 
London's fashion, probably did much to 
popularize this style of dining table. In 
January, 1773, John Stewart, Commissioner 


of Indian Affairs for the Southern Colonies, 
bought from Thomas Elfe "1 large Square 
Table with 2 leaves & side Boards d 
Rounded off to match d" at a cost of 58. 
These tables and leaves were probably 
needed for the formal dinners given by the 
Commissioner. The following month Elfe 
made a similar set of tables for Alexander 
Wright. Inasmuch as the leaves were not 
included, Elfe's charges were 48. From 
then on the rounded ends to go with the 
main table became common. All told, dur- 
ing an eight-year period, Elfe made 132 
dining tables. Several of the dining tables 
of this period that have been examined have 
square legs, slightly tapered with a thumb- 
nail groove on the sides. By the end of the 
century practically every cabinet-maker 
who did any advertising informed his read- 
ers that he had "Sets of Dining Tables," 
indicating that the rounded ends always 
accompanied the center table. 

Tea Tables: From the earliest days tea 
drinking appears to have been fashionable 
with the Charlestonians. This is verified by 
the records of large importations of tea. On 
January 27, 1732, James McClellan (q.v.) 
advertised in the South Carolina Gazette 
that he made "Tea-boxes." By 1740, Josiah 
Qaypool, the "expatriated" cabinet-maker 
from Philadelphia, was advertising that he 
made "all sorts of Tea Tables." The inven- 
tories reveal that this kind of table was com- 
monly found in the average household. 

It has been said of tripod tea tables that 
they "are treasured above all others by col- 
lectors." 2 They are rare in Charleston. 
Fine examples are no longer to be found in 
the city. Those that remain are usually 
quite plain, with snake feet of excellent 
proportions but with no bird cage. Round 
tea tables are frequently found in the in- 
ventories, and judging from their appraised 

values they must have been elaborate. As 
early as 1740 "one round Mahogany Claw- 
foot table" is listed in an inventory. 3 

The Elfe account book reveals that he 
made "a Scallop tea table with Eagle Claws" 
at a cost of 25, and for some of his "Scol- 
lop" tea tables he received as much as 35. 

So many round tea tables having once 
been produced in Charleston it is difficult to 
believe that at least a few have not survived. 
But until they are located and recognized 
as being of local origin there is no way of 
knowing what type foot was used, whether 
they had bird cages, or what design was 
used for the scalloped edge. It has been said 
that the "Pie-crust tables bought out of the 
South . . . have shorter scallops in the rim 
than the Philadelphia type"; 4 this may be 
correct. Because English styles were so 
dominant in the pre-Revolurionary period, 
it is not at all unlikely that many locally 
made tables of this kind followed closely 
the English type of construction and de- 
sign and may be regarded by their present 
owners as having been made in England. 

Card Tables: Card playing, like tea drink- 
ing, was a popular diversion with the eight- 
eenth century Charlestonians and there is 
hardly an inventory of a person of means 
that does not contain at least two card 
tables. Judging from Elfe's charges, card 
tables must have varied greatly in design 
and carving. Elfe usually made them in 
pairs and his prices range from 30 to 40 
for a pair. However, for a pair of "com- 
mode" card tables he charged 70. Such a 
difference in prices leads us to believe that 
the "commode" table must have been elab- 
orately carved. Others were made with legs 
fluted. Some of the tables must have been 
quite plain, but all appear to have been lined 
with green cloth. The "commode" style 
card table must have been extremely popu- 

lar just before the Revolution for we find 
other cabinet-makers advertising that they 
also made similar tables, 5 

Card tables made toward the end of the 
eighteenth century are frequently circular 
in design; several are what might be called 
"long oval." When the leaf of such a table 
is raised at right angles it gives the appear- 
ance of being elliptical in shape, but when 
extended the table is nearly circular. There 
is usually less than an inch of variation be- 
tween the width and the depth. 

Breakfast Tables: Breakfast tables were 
popular. Elfe made several different styles 
of breakfast tables and it is reasonable to 
suppose that the other cabinet-makers 
working in Charleston during the same 
period did likewise. There is such a varia- 
tion in the prices charged by Elfe for tables 
of this kind as to suggest considerable 
variation in his designs. Probably not all of 
them contained drawers. He did, however, 
make many such tables "with Draw & 
Stretcher" at a cost of 18. For other 
breakfast tables (possibly the drawer-less 
ones), he charged only 16. A commode 
breakfast table usually cost 30; and one 
with the "ends carved," 28 (Fig. 88). On 
occasion Elfe made a "square" breakfast 
table or one with "fluted legs & Chinese 
brackets." Richard Magrath, one of Elfe's 
competitors, advertised in the South Caro- 
lina Gazette on July 9, 1772, that he made 
"Breakfast tables with stretchers." 

The cabinet-makers during the last de- 
cade of the eighteenth and the first decade 
of the nineteenth century frequently ad- 
vertised "Breakfast Tables." These were 
probably pembroke tables of various styles 
and shapes. 

China Tables: The china table illustrated in 
Chippendale's Director shows it as having 


a raised edge to protect the china against 
damage. 6 It is mentioned by the local 
cabinet-makers working in the third quar- 
ter of the eighteenth century, and is often 
called a "Chinese" table. One case in point 
is the advertisement of Peter Hall (q.v.) 
which appeared in the South Carolina 
Gazette on December 19, 1761. Among 
other kinds of furniture he mentions 
"Chinese tables of all sorts." 

Elfe made a number of china tables, and 
judging from the price of some of them 
they must have been very elaborate. A 
"China frett tea table" could be purchased 
for as little as 20. One with a stretcher 
was priced at 26. For one with a "Carved 
Acorn" the price was 30. The acorn was 
probably on the finial in the raised center 
portions of the stretcher. Elfe was con- 
tinually repairing rims of "China Tables." 
We also find that he made "commode fret 
China Tables with castors" for 46 and at 
least on one occasion he charged 70 for a 
"large China Table." The latter must have 
been very ornate, for one could have pur- 
chased from Elfe one of his plain double 
chests of drawers for a like amount No 
doubt a large number of china tables were 
made in Charleston but if any have sur- 
vived, their present whereabouts is not 

Pembroke Tables: What appears to be the 
earliest use in print of the word "pern- 
broke," in reference to tables, is given in 
the New English Dictionary which ap- 
peared in I778. 7 Yet five years prior to 
that time we find that Elfe made "a Pem- 
broke tea table" for Peter Stevenson at a 
cost of 16. Towards the end of the eight- 
eenth century the pembroke table became 
extremely popular and practically every 
cabinet-maker advertised it Pembroke 
card tables occur frequently in the in- 


ventories. Tables of this period are inlaid 
and many are elliptical in shape when their 
leaves are extended; a few have enamel 

Slab Tables: "Slate Tables" are occasionally 
mentioned in the inventories of the 1730's, 8 
but by the next decade the marble skb 
table, or "Marble Slab and frame" as they 
were generally called, came into vogue. In 
1740 Josiah Claypool, formerly of Phila- 
delphia, was advertising that he made 
"frames for Marble Tables . . . after the 
newest and best Fashions . . ." 9 If one 
may judge from the inventories, they were 
very common by the end of the century. 
The mahogany frames were made by the 
local cabinet-makers. During the eight- 
eenth century the marble was imported 
from abroad, 10 but in the early nineteenth 
century marble was also being brought in 
from Philadelphia. 11 The probable reason 
for importing American marble was a 
19%% tariff on foreign marble by 1807. 12 
Therefore a piece of furniture containing 
"Chester County" marble, (the kind quar- 
ried in the vicinity of Philadelphia) should 
not be arbitrarily assigned as being of 
Philadelphia origin until it has been care- 
fully examined 

Mahogany slab tables were also common, 
a thick mahogany board taking the place 
of the marble slab. Thomas Elfe (q.v.) 
made a number of these tables. His charges 
for them varied from 12 to 30. Doubt- 
less the wide differences in price were de- 
termined by the relative amount of carving 
on the frame. 

Dressing Tables: Many early Charleston 
dressing tables have a single narrow drawer. 
This, combined with their long legs, gives 
them a light and delicate appearance (Fig. 
93). The top is usually moulded on three 

sides and the outer edges of the stiles have a 
delicate beading. The legs are tapered, 
slender, with a well-executed ankle usually 
ending with a padded Queen Anne foot. 
However, one has been discovered that has 
a ball and claw foot (Fig. 90). The sec- 
ondary wood of all known examples is 

So far there has come to light only one 
locally made dressing table that can be 
called a "low boy" (Fig. 92). (The name 
"low boy" was not used in Colonial 
times.) u This piece has an unusual Spanish 
foot; the top is moulded on three sides and 
the secondary wood throughout is cypress. 

Almost all of these tables have large, 
handsome brasses, even a large escutcheon 
for the keyhole. 

Side Chairs 


numbers of chairs were used in normal 
Charleston households. It is not unusual to 
find thirty or forty chairs in a single resi- 
dence; occasionally, in the larger ones, as 
many as fifty or sixty. Only rarely are 
more than a hundred listed in a single in- 

The early side chairs were probably 
made from the local woods. By 1725 there 
is frequent mention in the inventories of 
White Chairs and Black Chairs, the latter 
being sometimes called "Carolina made," a 
type which persisted until the 1750V 
Many chairs were spoken of merely as 
"Cain Chairs"; there were also "Walnut 
Tree matted Chairs." 2 By 1732 the local 
cabinet-makers were advertising that they 
would make mahogany chairs "after the 
best manner." s Today there is no way of 
knowing when mahogany chairs became 

common, but in all probability they were 
in general use by the 1740's, along with 
other articles made of mahogany. 

That invaluable document, the Elfe ac- 
count book, gives us a pretty clear indica- 
tion not only of the number but of the 
types of chairs made just before the Revolu- 
tion. In the eight-year period covered by 
the account book, Elfe made six hundred 
forty-three side chairs. This in itself is 
an exceedingly large number, but it must 
not be forgotten that more than thirty 
other cabinet-makers were working in 
Charleston during the same period. It is 
impossible even to approximate the number 
of chairs that must have been made in the 
city during the time. 

Elfe seems to have made three distinct 
types of side chairs: scroll backs, splat 
backs, and carved backs. The scroll-back 
type was the cheapest and Elfe charged 
90 or 95 a dozen for them. If a customer 
wished chairs with spkt backs he paid 160 
for his dozen, and if a particularly fine set 
of chairs with carved backs was ordered 
the purchaser paid as much as 230 for 
them. Occasionally Elfe made a set of chairs 
with "Compass seats"; he made other sets 
with the "fronts fluted"; and one entry 
shows that he made six chairs with "Com- 
mode fronts." 

Richard Magrath, one of Elfe's competi- 
tors, advertised in 1771 that he would sell 
"Half a dozen Carved Chairs, . . . with 
Commode fronts, and Pincushion seats, of 
the newest fashion, and the first of that 
construction ever made in the province." 4 
Apparently it was Magrath who introduced 
this style of chair, for it is not until some 
time later that we find Elfe meeting this 
competition. The following year Magrath 
published another interesting advertisement 
stating that he made "Chairs of the newest 
fashion, splat Backs, with hollow slats and 


commode fronts, of the same Pattern as 
those imported by Peter Manigault, Esq.- 
He is now making some Hollow-seated 
Chairs, the seats to take in and out, and 
nearly the pattern of another set of Chairs 
imported by the same gentleman, which 
have a light, airy Look, and make the sit- 
ting easy beyond expression." 5 It would 
appear that Peter Manigault, who was one 
of the richest men in the colony, had just 
imported a set of chairs of the newest fash- 
ion. Magrath's advertisement suggests that 
before that rime locally made chairs did 
not have "seats to take in and out." 

Elfe must have made quantities of chairs 
that did not have movable or "slip" seats. 
In his inventory of stock taken on January 
1, 1768, are Iked "40 thousand brass chair 
nails" and "10 thousand Princess metal chair 
nails." 6 Therefore, all pre-Revolurionary 
chairs that do not have movable or "slip" 
seats should be carefully scrutinized to see 
if they are of local origin and not arbitrarily 
assigned as English or as coming from some 
other American city. 

Many of the chairs made in the third 
quarter of the eighteenth century closely 
followed their English prototypes. In the 
making of a side chair practically none 
of the secondary woods was used which, in 
other kinds of furniture, often serve to 
identify the piece as being of local origin. 
The most noticeable difference between a 
Charleston-made chair and one of English 
origin of this period is the amount of ma- 
hogany used in its construction. The rails 
of the locally made chair are frequently 
thicker and most chairs have heavy ma- 
hogany comer blocks (Fig. 120) with the 
grain horizontal There is in existence a 
so-called State chair which is thought to 
have been made about 1765 by Elfe and 
Hutchinson (q$.). In spite of the fact that 
die seat covering covers the rails and is 


nailed, the front rail is made out of ma- 
hogany with a thickness of 3% inches. Such 
lavish use of mahogany would probably 
have been made only by a local craftsman. 

Because of the cutting off of all trade 
with England during die Revolutionary 
period and the economic confusion that 
followed, it seems unlikely that very many 
chairs of the so-called "Transition" period 
were made by Charleston cabinet-makers. 
The supposition is further substantiated by 
the fact that few chairs of this type are to 
be found in and around Charleston. 

With the return of prosperity and the 
resumption of trade with England and the 
continent, Charlestonians were influenced, 
as they had formerly been, by the latest 
styles from abroad. John Marshall, one of 
the local cabinet-makers, advertised in 1795 
that "He Has On Hand . . . Several 
dozen Mahogany Chairs of the newest 
fashion." 7 The advertisements from that 
date to the gradual decline of Charleston 
cabinet-making indicate that whenever any 
change of style occurred, the local cabinet- 
maker quickly adjusted himself to the 
wishes of his customer. 

Easy Chairs 

advertisements, easy or wing chairs were 
very common during the last half of the 
eighteenth century. They must have been 
in common use by 1741, for in that year 
Walter Rowland, Upholsterer from Lon- 
don, advertised that he will "stuff . . . 
easy Chairs." Strangely enough, the ac- 
count book of Thomas Elfe reveals that he 
made comparatively few easy chairs. Most 
of those which he produced had "Eagle 
daws," and his usual charge was around 

30, He repaired easy chairs by putting 
new stretchers and casters in them, but it is 
not known whether such chairs were made 
by him or by some other cabinet-maker. 
The most important fact here, of course, is 
that some of the easy chairs had stretchers. 
An extant easy chair made in the last 
quarter of the eighteenth century reveals 
the following characteristics: the rails are 
of oak which, judging by its annular rings,* 
was probably of local growth; some of the 
supporting members are of cypress; and the 
chair contains still a third wood which 
appears to be cherry. As yet, however, the 
number of easy chairs available for exami- 
nation is not great enough to permit any 
conclusions regarding the difference be- 
tween those that were made in Charleston 
and in other places. It may be predicted 
that when such conclusions become pos- 
sible, they will be derived from an ex- 
amination of the secondary woods which 
the chairs contain. 

pound." The inventories reveal that such 
chairs usually occurred in pairs, although 
some inventories list as many as eight in a 
single household. 1 The cabinet-makers 
working during the third quarter of the 
eighteenth century frequently advertised 
that they made "French Chairs." Thomas 
Elfe made comparatively few French chairs 
during the eight years covered by his 
account book. His charges for a pair of 
such chairs came to 60. Such a price, 
compared to what he received for some of 
his other furniture, indicates that the chairs 
must have been very handsome. 

The one shown on figure 109 has yellow 
pine and ash as its secondary wood. The 
carving on the end of the arm is very well 
executed. This chair is no longer in Charles- 
ton; but recently a companion chair has 
been found in the possession of a Charles- 
ton family, which acquired it by inherit- 


French Chairs or Armchairs 

generally known, Martha Washington 
chairs, were fairly common during the last 
half of the eighteenth century. Chippendale, 
in the first edition (1754) of his Director 
gives several designs for the French Chair. It 
is not known when this design was first 
used by the Charleston cabinet-makers, but 
by 1765 these chairs were in such general 
use that John Mason, an upholsterer, adver- 
tised in the South Carolina Gazette on 
February 2 of that year that he would 
furnish a "French chair cover" for "one 

* Oak growing along the Southern littoral averages 
from four to eight annular growth rings to the inch. 
Oak grown in the mountains and in the North usually 
has from eight to twelve such rings. 

Windsor Chairs 

most important single item of furniture im- 
ported into Charleston. What is thought to 
be the earliest mention of a Windsor chair 
in the Colony is found in the inventory of 
John Lloyd, dated May 28, 1736, listing "3 
open Windser (sic) chairs. 3." * 

Thereafter Windsor chairs are occasion- 
ally mentioned in the inventories, though 
usually only a few such chairs are listed at 
any one time. The majority of the Wind- 
sor chairs were imported sporadically from 
England, Philadelphia, and New York. In 
January, 1759, the vessel "Prince of 
Orange, Capt. White from London" ar- 
rived with a shipment of Windsor chairs. 2 
On June 23, 1766, an advertisement in the 


South Carolina Gazette announced that 
some Windsor chairs had just arrived from 
Philadelphia. Later advertisements reveal 
that throughout the closing years of the 
eighteenth century and the first quarter of 
the nineteenth Windsor chairs arrived by 
ship with some regularity. 

If one were to judge solely from the ad- 
vertisements he would conclude that all 
Windsor chairs in Charleston during that 
period were imported. The local cabinet- 
and chairmakers, however, very definitely 
made efforts to meet the competition from 
importations. John Biggard inserted the 
following advertisement in the South 
Carolina Gazette for March 24, 1767: 
"The subscriber, who is lately arrived from 
Philadelphia, has opened a Turner's shop 
on the Bay, the Corner of Queen-Street, 
where Gentlemen may be supplied with 
Windsor and Garden Chairs. . . ." Biff- 


gard, working in Philadelphia and seeing 
the demand for such chairs in Charleston, 
must have decided that it was a good place 
in which to establish his shop. At once the 
problem arises of distinguishing between a 
Biggard chair made in Charleston and one 
imported from Philadelphia, for it can 
hardly be doubted that Biggard would have 

made his Charleston chairs in exactly the 


same manner as he had made them in Phila- 
delphia. Furthermore, there is a very good 
chance that he would have used some of 
the same woods in both places. 

After the Revolution when Windsor 
chairs were again being imported, we find 
Andrew Redmond advertising in the South 
Carolina Gazette and General Advertiser 
on January 13, 1784, that he "still carries 
on Turnery in all its Branches . . . Like- 
wise Philadelphia Windsor chairs, either 
armed or unarmed, as neat as any imported, 
and much better stuff." The question again 
arises how to differentiate between the two. 


Humiston and Stafford, Chair Makers, 
stated in the City Gazette and 'Dally Ad- 
vertiser for November 28, 1798, that they 
made "Warranted Windsor Chairs and 
Green Settees, Of the newest fashion, and 
of an excellent quality, superior to any ever 
imported into this city ... A few Journey- 
men and one or two Apprentices are wanted 
for the Chair making Business." The latter 
statement suggests that Humiston and 
Stafford had a shop of considerable size. 

From time to time the city directories list 
the names of Windsor chairmakers. As late 
as 1832 we learn that J. J. Sheridan, the 
strong advocate of Charleston-made furni- 
ture, was producing this type of chair. 8 

People living in the interior of the State 
wanted Windsor chairs and the Charleston 
chairmakers must have endeavored to 
supply the demand. About 1813 Charles 
Martin Grey was "bound out" to Mr. Pugh 
of Augusta, Georgia, maker of Fancy and 
Windsor chairs. 4 Pugh probably supplied 
the wealthy planters in the Aiken and 
Edgefield region who had formerly been 
getting their chairs from Charleston. On 
March 15, 1805, the following advertise- 
ment appeared in the City Gazette: 
"Wanted immediatelyTwo Journeymen, 
one that understands the Riding Chair 
business, the other the Windsor Chair mak- 
ing business. . . . apply to my shop in 
Camden [S. C.]. Joseph H. Hoell." 

It is noteworthy that, despite the large 
number of Windsor chairs imported to 
Charleston and produced by local cabinet- 
makers, no definite type can be traced. A 
type or style may have evolved, but so few 
chairs have survived that there can be 
little hope of discovering anything re- 
sembling a local style. It is not difficult to 
understand why the Windsor chair did not 
survive in Charleston. First, it probably was 
regarded as piazza or garden furniture 5 






Fig. 41 SIDEBOARD Height 39"; width 61 3 / 4 "; depth-center 27|/ 2 ", end 20/ 2 " 

Fig. 48 SIDEBOARD Height 39"; width 67'/ 2 "; depth-center 29% 6 ", end 19%" 

Fig. 49 SIDEBOARD Height 3954"; width 66'/ 4 "; depth-center 28%", end 21 %" 

Fig. 50 SIDEBOARD Height 37 W\ width 61 %"; depth-center 27", end 24' 

Fig. 51 DOUBLE-TIERED SIDEBOARD dimensions not available 

Fig. 52 DOUBLE-TIERED SIDEBOARD Height-back 45 >/ 4 ", front 38%"; width 68" 

and was therefore not highly valued; again, 
it was fairly fragile and when once broken 
was relegated to the woodshed; finally, 
some of the woods used in its construction 
may have been subject to borers. What- 
ever the explanation, Windsor chairs in 
and around Charleston, other than recent 
importations, are rare. 

Sofas, Couches, and Settees 


locally made during the third quarter of 
the eighteenth century has been found in 
Charleston. The local cabinet-makers adver- 
tised them; the inventories reveal that they 
were in Charleston homes of that period; 
and the account book of Thomas Elfe 
shows that he actually produced sofas. No 
doubt some have survived, but they are still 
to be discovered. Richard Magrath, a local 
cabinet-maker, advertised in the South 
Carolina Gazette on July 9, 1772, that he 
made ". . * Sophas, with Commode fronts 
divided into three sweeps, which give them 
a noble look . . ." The following year he 
again advertised that he had some "Sophas, 
. . . of the newest fashion and neatest con- 
struction, such as were never offered for 
sale in this Province before . . ." Elfe's 
charge (1774) for a "sopha" was 90 cur- 
rent money. For casters he made an addi- 
tional charge. 

During the last decade of the eighteenth 
century the local cabinet-makers frequently 
advertised that they made sofas "of the 
newest fashion." Even sofas of this period 
are practically non-existent in Charleston. 

The couch (or daybed) appears fairly 
regularly in the inventories. In 1739 the 
inventory of Maurice Lewis lists "1 Leath- 
ern Bottom Couch 4." : By the 1740's 

they are usually spoken of as "Mahogany 
Couches" showing that by this rime 
couches, like practically all other pieces of 
furniture, were being made of mahogany. 
Couches continued to be produced in 
Charleston until the time of the Revolu- 
tion. 2 During the last decade of the eight- 
eenth and the first decade of the nineteenth 
century the couch may have gone out of 
style, for the cabinet-makers, judging from 
their advertisements, made only sofas. 

Because the settee appears only rarely in 
the inventories and is not mentioned in the 
advertisements of the local cabinet-makers, 
it is reasonable to assume that it was not in 
common use in Charleston. 


ited with designing the sideboard in its 
present form. 1 In his Cabinet Maker's Lon- 
don Book of Prices published in 1788 is 
illustrated a "bow-fronted" sideboard show- 
ing a sideboard as we now think of it 2 It 
is not known how long it took for this new 
design to reach Charleston, but Andrew 
Gifford, a local cabinet-maker, advertised 
in the City Gazette and Advertiser of 
March 16, 1790, that he had "Side boards 
plain and inlaid"; and the inventory of Dr. 
Andrew Turnbull made in April, 1792, lists 
"1 Mahogany Sidboard." s Thereafter the 
inventories reveal that the sideboard was a 
common article of furniture in the Charles- 
ton residence. 

In 1795 John Marshall, a local cabinet- 
maker, stated that he had some "Elegant 
commode sideboards/' 4 The following 
year both Alexander Calder (q.v.) and 
Charles Watts (q.v.) advertised that they 
had ''Elegant Sideboards of different forms 


and kinds." 5 The inventory of John Doug- 
las (q.v.) made on December 31, 1805, in- 
cludes "5 Sideboards $250.00." It is obvious 
that the Charlestonians were not partial to 
any one style or shape. 

It is interesting to note that all these 
cabinet-makers with the exception of Gif- 
ford, were Scottish. It was their aptitude 
for fine workmanship which explains why 
so many handsome sideboards have come 
out of the South. During the past quarter 
of a century many fine mahogany side- 
boards have been found in the upper part 
of South Carolina. The preponderance of 
evidence leads us to believe that these side- 
boards are of Charleston origin. The reasons 
for this conclusion are given under the sec- 
tion on "Exports and Country Trade." 

There appears to be no hard and fast rule 
for the dimensions of a Charleston side- 
board. Some are very large, obviously made 
to fit a particular place in the dining room; 
others are quite small. The locally made 
sideboard does not have the slenderness of 
body and length of leg found in the Balti- 
more pieces. 6 

It is noteworthy that the Charleston 
makers of sideboards were conservative in 
their use of inky. Although they commonly 
employed the bellflowers and fan they 
avoided such gaudy designs as those found 
in pieces made elsewhere. 

The serpentine sideboard of the Hepple- 
white style has the center only moderately 
bowed. In other words, the depth of the 
center is only a few inches greater than the 
depth of the ends. Another distinctive 
feature in some of the broken serpentine 
sideboards is in the construction of the two 
center front legs. Instead of the customary 
four-sided legs, which are frequently 
slightly canted, the two center legs are five- 
sided (Fig. 64). Other types of locally 
made sideboards are known that have a 


sweeping curve in the back of the center 
leg just before it enters the carcass. Look- 
ing at it in profile it shows a comparatively 
slender leg below the piece, but the part 
extending into the carcass is approximately 
twice as thick as the exposed part. In some 
sideboards the uppermost cross member is 
dovetailed into the corner stile, as is cus- 
tomary, but in addition it is dovetailed into 
the side panel. This not only gives it added 
strength but keeps the side panel from bulg- 

With but few exceptions all side- 
boards attributed to Charleston cabinet- 
makers are of the six-legged design. One of 
the exceptions is an eight-legged Sheraton- 
style sideboard of large dimensions with 
two large inlaid panels showing the cotton 
plant in bloom as well as the cotton boll 
(Fig. 65). This piece was made for one of 
the wealthiest planters in the State. The 
other piece is of similar design and was un- 
doubtedly made by the same cabinet- 
maker (Fig. 62). 

The secondary woods used in the con- 
struction of the local sideboards vary 
greatly. Most pieces contain a combination 
of woods. Some make use of cypress and 
white pine; others, white pine and cedar; 
still others have a preponderance of long- 
leaf pine; many have poplar usually in 
combination with one of the other woods. 

The double-tiered or so-called Scotch 
type sideboard 7 was probably introduced 
into Charleston by the many Scottish 
cabinet-makers who were working there 
during the last decade of the eighteenth 
and the first decade of the nineteenth cen- 
turies. Possibly they may have been made 
elsewhere in this country. Uncertainty on 
this point arises from the fact that only a 
few such pieces have survived and that 
although some of them can be identified as 
having been made in Charleston, others can 

be traced only as having "come out of the 

Before the age of Shearer, the sideboard 
was primarily a table, and as its name im- 
plies was a long board. In the inventory of 
John Smith made April 17, 1725, is Iked "a 
side Board Cedar Table." By the middle of 
the eighteenth century, however, the 
Charlestonian wanted drawers in his ma- 
hogany sideboard table, presumably for 
convenience' sake. From then on until the 
last decade of the eighteenth century-with 
the advent of the new design-the inven- 
tories frequently mention a "Side board 
Table with Drawers." The account book 
of Thomas Elfe shows that he made side- 
boards with drawers, usually at a cost of 
between 25 and 30. 8 Any sideboard 
table with drawers of this period should be 
carefully examined for drawer linings made 
of cypress or for some other evidence of 
local workmanship. 

Knife Cases and Urns 

Charlestonian acquired, among other things, 
quantities of silver. Even at an early date 
frequent mention is found in the inventories 
of silver spoons and silver-handled knives 
and forks. A place in which to keep such 
articles was necessary, and the knife box 
was the logical receptacle. 

The first such boxes were usually spoken 
of as "Shagreen Cases." Such cases were 
often covered with sharkskin. The wooden 
knife case came into common use during 
the last half of the eighteenth century. The 
inventory of one man reveals that as many 
as six such boxes were needed to take care 
of his silver. 1 This was probably an excep- 

tion, but in any event a pair of boxes was 
usually to be found in the home of any 
person of means. 

Unless the primary wood in the knife 
case is a native American wood it is diffi- 
cult and sometimes impossible to dis- 
tinguish between an American-made box 
and one of English origin, for it appears to 
have been the custom of the English crafts- 
man to use pine (deal) as a secondary 
wood, 2 and no doubt the American crafts- 
man followed the same practice. 

Thomas Sheraton (1802), in speaking of 
the knife case, makes the following state- 
ment: "As these cases are not made in regu- 
lar cabinet shops, it may be of service to 
mention where they are executed in the 
best taste, by one who makes it his main 
business; i.e., John Lane, No. 44, St. 
MartinVle-Grand, London." Whether the 
eighteenth century Charleston cabinet- 
maker made knife boxes is still a matter of 
conjecture. Because it was small the box 
could easily have been imported. The in- 
ventory of Michael Muckenfuss, a local 
cabinet-maker, made in 1808, lists a knife 
case and the inventory of William Walker 
(q.v.) made in 1811 shows that he had "a 
pair of Knife Cases." It is reaosnable to sup- 
pose than a highly skilled cabinet-maker 
would have made his own knife boxes rather 
than purchase imported ones, if for no 
other reason than pride of craftsmanship. 

There is a knife box that is thought to be 
of Charleston origin. This assumption is 
based on the secondary wood used in its 
construction and the inlay on its top. A 
somewhat similar inky has been found in 
several pieces of furniture of local origin 
that were probably made in the last decade 
of the eighteenth century. 

The knife nrn was contemporaneous 
with the knife box, although the more 

slender form was of a later period. 3 What 
has been said about the box will in all likeli- 
hood apply to the urn. 

Wine Coolers and Cellarettes 


"wine cooler" or "butler" was usually 
found in the home of every man of means. 
Occasionally the inventories reveal that as 
many as three coolers were owned by a 
single person. 1 The possession of several 
coolers does not necessarily indicate that 
the owner was a heavy drinker; more than 
likely he kept his various wines in separate 
coolers for convenience. Occasionally a 
"copper Japanned cooler" appears in an 
inventory. 2 The wine cooler of this period 
was usually either octagonal or elliptical in 
shape, brass-bound, and mounted on a stand. 
Almost all had lead or metal linings, so 
that either water or ice could be placed in 
them to cool the wine. Some of these cool- 
ers still have the drain cock in the bottom. 

It is probable that the word "cellarette" 
was not generally applied to such pieces 
until the rime of Hepplewhite. In the third 
edition (1794) of his Guide Hepplewhite 
shows "cellarettes" both in octagonal and 
elliptical shapes with compartments to hold 
the bottles. In 1803 Thomas Sheraton wrote 
the following description: "Cellaret, 
amongst cabinet makers, denotes a conven- 
ience for wine, or wine cistern," Oc- 
casionally it was spoken of as a "Mahogany 
Buder for liquors." 3 

Thomas Elfe made several "Mahogany 
Cases for bottles with brass handles" at a 
cost of 12. The price indicates that they 
were semi-portable cases, each holding 
about six bottles. In 1796 John Marshall, a 
local cabinet-maker, advertised that he had 

"Handsome Cellerettes of the newest 
fashion" and the following year Jacob Sass 
(q.v.) announced that he too had Sellerets 


The inventory of Nicholas Silberg (q.v.) 

made in 1802 lists three "commode" cellar- 
ettes; the inventory of Michael Mucken- 
fuss (q.v.), taken in 1808, reveals that he 
also had three such articles. The largest, 
which had a "raised top," was appraised at 
$50. Such a price suggests that the cellarette 
must have been a very elaborate one, for 
by this time the appraised value of articles 
nowhere represents their true worth. 

It seems rather strange that cellarettes 
were still popular at this time, for the side- 
board had become common and usually 
had one drawer fitted out to take care of 
bottles, thereby outmoding the cellarette. 

One reason for the present rarity of 
cellarettes in Charleston is probably best 
explained in Reminiscences of Old Charles- 
ton. 4 The author in describing his grand- 
father's house (c. 1840) states that "In the 
corner as you enter the door in the dining- 
room stood the 'wine cooler' of polished 
mahogany, inlaid with wreaths of satin 
wood, octagon in shape, about three feet 
high, on six spindling square legs, divided 
inside with compartments, each to hold a 
bottle of wine. The centre lined with lead 
to hold ice or water. Being on rollers it was 
wheeled up to the side of the host at the 
head of the table and the cooled bottle 
handed out as needed The fashions of the 
world change,' and those who have been 
accustomed to partake of its contents, now 
that it was all gone and never refilled, have 
failed to return, and for years it was de- 
based to the humble purpose of a scrap box, 
its glory had departed, and like its owner 
seemed to be growing larger in body, and 
more spindling in the legs." 


Corner Cupboards 


century the corner cupboard appears to 
have been a fairly common article of furni- 
ture in the Charleston house. The earliest 
pieces were probably made of cedar, 
cypress, or possibly red bay. Very rarely 
is a cupboard of walnut mentioned in the 
inventories. 1 Cupboards were made of ma- 
hogany as soon as that wood became com- 
mon. By the time of the Revolution (our 
only source of information being the in- 
ventories) comer cupboards appear to have 
gone out of style and they are rarely men- 
tioned in the inventories of the later periods. 
A handsome mahogany cupboard is illus- 
trated on Plate xii in Burroughs, Southern 
Antiques (1931) with the notation that it 
is from South Carolina. It has a rather un- 
usual medallion inlay in the pediment. 
Inasmuch as this motif has been found in 
other pieces of furniture that are thought 
to be of local origin, it is reasonable to sup- 
pose that this cupboard is also of Charles- 
ton workmanship. 

Desk and Bookcases; and Secretary and 


today as a secretary, was a favorite article 
of furniture with the Charlestonians. The 
term desk and bookcase signified that the 
lower section consisted of a slope front desk 
with drawers underneath with a super- 
imposed section to hold books. By 1732 the 
local cabinet-makers were advertising that 
they made such articles of furniture; 1 in 
1740 Josiah Oaypoole (q.v.) stated that he 
made "Desk and Book Cases, with Arch'd, 
Pediment and 0. G. Heads." 2 

From the early 1740V the mahogany 
"desk and bookcase" begins to make its 
appearance with great regularity in the in- 
ventories and by the next decade the desk 
and bookcases are listed as having glass 
doors, from which it may be inferred that 
the earlier ones had solid-paneled doors 
(Fig. 30). Probably, due to climatic condi- 
tions, the wire mesh in place of the solid 
or glass door was apparently never used by 
the local cabinet-makers. The later form is 
occasionally spoken of as a "Scrutore and 
Book case [with] glass doors." 4 The term 
Scrutore was usually applied only to a desk. 

Thomas Elfe made "Mahogany Desk 
and Book Casefs] with Chinese Doors" at 
a price ranging from 130 to 150. The 
desk and boockcase shown (Fig. 32) is 
ascribed to Elfe. It has the so-called Elfe 
fret; secondary wood of cypress; the same 
rabbeting on the edges of the drawers; and 
the cross brace in the center of the drawers. 
It is a matter of record also that Elfe made 
"Mahogany Desk and Book Cases with 
Glass Doors" at a cost of 140. The "Glass 
Doors" here meant "Mirror" doors. An- 
other desk and bookcase (Fig. 31) has a 
different fret on the pediment and has the 
same motif incised on the foot. Again we 
find that the desk and bookcase has cypress 
as a secondary wood with the cross brace 
in the drawers, but whether it was made by 
Elfe or by one of the thirty-four local 
cabinet-makers working at that time is still 
a matter of conjecture. Several desk and 
book cases of this period have solid doors. 
Presumably the original owners did not 
wish to pay the extra charges for "Glass" 
or "Chinese" doors. All the desk and book 
cases of the pre-Revolurionary period at- 
tributed to Charleston cabinet-makers 
employ cypress as a secondary wood. 

The secretary and bookcase differs from 
the desk and bookcase in that the entire 


writing section pulls out a few inches, and 
the front, which is on quadrants, falls and 
makes part of the writing desk. Some secre- 
tary and bookcases have the usual drawers 
beneath, others have paneled doors. The 
pull-out secretary is attributed by some to 
the Sheraton school 5 though both styles 
can be seen in Hepplewhite's Guide. 

The Charleston cabinet-makers were 
quick to adopt the new style. In 1795 John 
Marshall (q.v.) advertised "Desk and book- 
cases of different patterns" and "Secretaries 
and book-cases of different patterns." Other 
local cabinet-makers quickly followed suit. 
Some even advertised that they made 
"Ladies writing Tables and Book Cases." 

Some of the post-Revolutionary Charles- 
ton secretaries contain cypress as the sec- 
ondary wood; others have been found that 
have white pine, ash, and cedar. Although 
mahogany was the wood generally used in 
locally made secretary and bookcases, a 
labeled piece by Robert Walker (q.v.) is 
made of satinwood edged with mahogany. 
The satinwood is veneered on mahogany. 

Hepplewhite, in comments on the desk 
and bookcase (which would have also 
applied to the secretary and bookcase) 
writes, "The dimensions of this article, will 
in general, be regulated by the height of 
the room, the place where it must stand, or 
the particular use to which it is des- 
tined, . . ."* The post-Revolutionary 
Charleston cabinet-makers appear to have 
taken Hepplewhite literally, for we find 
that Charleston-made desk and bookcases, 
as well as secretary and bookcases, are 
usually "longer waked" than those made 
in other parts of the country* In other 
words, the upper section and, in many 
cases, the lower part are higher than those 
generally found elsewhere. This is under- 
standable for otherwise the pieces would 

have looked dwarfed in the high-ceiling 
post-Revolutionary Charleston rooms. 

The secretary and bookcase was such a 
popular article of furniture that the local 
brokers, upon receiving a shipment of 
hardware from abroad, would advertise 
among other things "hinges for cabinet- 
work, bed furniture, and quadrants" 7 the 
last being, of course, for the secretary and 


equipped their libraries with handsome 
bookcases; some owned as many as "three 
large Mahogany Book Cases. . . ."* The 
inventory of John Morton made on Jan* 
uary 9, 1752, lists a mahogany bookcase 
valued at 100. Another inventory made 
in 1761 reveals a bookcase and books 
appraised at 400. 2 Of course there is today 
no way of knowing the value of the books 
that it contained. Just before the Revolution 
we find another entry of a "Mahogany 
Book Case sash'd 150." 3 Fife's charges for 
a bookcase varied from 100 to 140. The 
appraisal value of these bookcases found in 
Charleston homes, compared with other 
articles of furniture, indicates that the 
bookcases must have been very handsome. 
There apparently were so many bookcases 
in Charleston that William Wayne felt 
justified in inserting the following adver- 
tisement in the South Carolina Gazette; 
And Country Journal for January 5, 1773: 
"Glass cut to all dimensions; Chinese Book 
Cases, glazed in the neatest Manner . . ." 
The design for the bookcase shown on 
figure 1 has obviously been taken, with 
some slight variations, from Chippendale's 
Director. It is attributed to Thomas Elfe. 


This assumption is based on the fact that it 
has the so-called Elfe fret; cypress is the 
secondary wood; and the Elfe account 
book reveals that he made several large 
bookcases, some with frets. 

The bookcase shown as the frontispiece 
is now in the Heyward- Washington House, 
a branch of the Charleston Museum. It was 
bequeathed by Mrs. Nellie Hotchkiss 
Holmes, who inherited it from her hus- 
band, George S. Holmes. It is an unusually 
large piece, being 10 feet 9 inches high, 8 
feet 3% inches wide. The pediment has a 
fine flower inlay of many lands of woods 
and the little bellflowers are of ivory. The 
texture and matching of the mahogany is 
superb. The secondary wood used for the 
drawer linings is beautiful heart cypress. 
The back, however, is made out of white 

Another bookcase (Fig. 2) is now in 
the Yale Museum of Fine Arts. This piece 
came from one of the Alston plantations 
near Georgetown, South Carolina. There 
are sufficient similarities in its construction 
to lead to the belief that the piece probably 
came from the same workshop that pro- 
duced the Holmes bookcase. It differs, how- 
ever, in having its drawer linings made out 
of cedar. 

An interesting item appeared on July 27, 
1786, in the Charleston Morning Post and 
Daily Advertiser: "[Auction] A very com- 
pleat Book-Case, Eight feet wide, and nine 
feet high, the upper part in three pieces, 
kept together by a beautiful cornice. For 
taste, elegance and workmanship, this piece 
is not exceeded by any in the State." 

The Heyward-Washington House con- 
tains another large bookcase. From its style 
it was probably made in the first decade of 
the nineteenth century. Its dimensions are as 
Mows: height 9 feet II inches, length 12 
feet 1% inches. Its size indicates that it must 

have been designed for a certain part of the 
house. The large panels are made of beauti- 
ful crotch mahogany, veneered on ma- 
hogany. It is attributed to Robert Walker. 
This assumption is based on the fact that 
there is a certain similarity, both in design 
and construction, to a secretary and book- 
case that bears Walker's label. 



a local cabinet-maker, advertised in the 
South Carolina Gazette that he was a maker 
of clock-cases. Since the Gazette, the 
only medium of advertising in the Province, 
was not founded until 1732, there is no 
way of knowing how long he or his con- 
temporaries had been making clock-cases. 
The inventories indicate that wealthy 
Charlestonians had clocks, and the appraised 
values indicate that they were in all proba- 
bility tall, or as they are now commonly 
called, grandfather clocks. 

During the eighteenth century there 
were fifty clock-and watch-makers work- 
ing in Charleston. Because tall clocks 
needed a large case to house the works, it is 
highly probable that the local clock-makers 
employed the local cabinet-makers to make 
the cases for them. Thomas Elfe charged 
40 for making such a case. 1 

The works of the clock shown on fig- 
ure 69 were made by Joshua Lockwood, 
one of the best known of the local clock- 

The works of the desk clock (Fig. 70) 
were made by John James Himely of 
Charleston. It is quite possible that the case 
of this small dock was made by a local 





Inlays and Bellflowers 

been found that the amount of inlay usually 
employed by the Charleston cabinet-makers 
was conservative. This will doubtless come 
as a surprise, for heretofore it has been be- 
lieved that the farther South one went the 
more gaudy the inlay and the more ornate 
the furniture. 

What appears to be the earliest mention 
of any inlay work is found in the inventory 
of Thomas Gadsden made on April 7, 
1740: "1 old Fashion Case of Drawers Inlaid 
with Ivory 1." An early date for inlay 
work of the later period is that of an ad- 
vertisement printed April 13, 1773, in the 
South Carolina Gazette: "Cabinet-Making, 
in all its branches, Also, Inlaid-work in any 
Taste, by Martin Pfeninger." It is not 
known when inlay was generally used by 
local cabinet-makers, but in 1780 an "Inlaid 
Mahogany Pembroke Table" valued at 4 
is listed in the inventory of William 
Wragg. 1 There appears to be a complete 
hiatus during the war years, but with the 
return of prosperity, along with the change 
of style which had taken place during the 
interim, practically all locally made furni- 
ture during the next decade appears to have 
some sort of inlay. 

A favorite style with the local cabinet- 
makers was the use of the narrow three-line 
inlay. The center strip is usually made out 
of some light-colored wood stained black; 
occasionally it is made out of ebony. The 
two outer strips are made of a light-colored 
wood to give a contrasting effect. Holly 
and satinwood were used for this purpose 
but the greatest amount of such inky 
appears to be hard maple. Card tables, pern- 
broke tables, and some sideboards are 

known that have inlaid panels made out of 
satinwood. Other woods used for this pur- 
pose were amboyna, rosewood, and tulip- 

The bellflower was commonly employed 
by the local cabinet-makers. Considerable 
variation has been noticed in both its size 
and shape, yet most of the designs fall 
somewhat into a general pattern (see line 
drawing). Many are blunt with the center 
petal only a little elongated and they are 
usually "scratched" rather than scrolled or 
pieced and the edges are not scorched in 
hot sand. The "scratches" were rubbed 
with lamp black to accentuate the lines. 
Occasionally some bellflowers had scorched 

Some extant pieces of local furniture are 
inlaid with ivory bellflowers. These too are 
scratched but their shape is much more 
pagoda-like. To what extent the ivory bell- 
flower was used by the local cabinet-maker 
is not known. Ivory was imported from 
Africa directly into Charleston. 2 

The fan inlay was commonly employed 
but it seldom reached gaudy proportions 
and was used rather sparingly on individual 
pieces of furniture. The segmented wooden 
rosettes, frequently found on the swan- 
necked pediments, generally have a small 
wooden core in the center where the seg- 
ments come together. 

In some cases the decoration is not 
limited to one side of the leg but has been 
found on two or even three sides. Line 
inlay has been noted on both the top and 
underside of the leaves of card tables; some- 
rimes on the edge. How general this prac- 
tice was has not yet been determined. The 
light-colored cuff is fairly common on the 
sideboard, pembroke, and card tables. It 
appears to vary both in height from the 
floor and in the height of the actual cuff. 


Ball and Claw Foot 


reveal that quantities of ball and claw (or 
as it was frequently called "clawfoot") 
furniture was in the homes of the Charles- 
tonians. Locally made pieces, however, are 
now so rare in Charleston that no adequate 
description of the style can be given. Only 
after a large number of such pieces have 
been located and carefully studied will a 
definitive description be possible of the 
kind of foot generally used by the local 
cabinet-makers. The few pieces of local 
origin that have been found in Charleston 
have a virile clean-cut foot with the rear 
toe fully accentuated 

For many years collectors have assidu- 
ously sought ball and claw foot furniture 
and this is probably the greatest single 
factor accounting for its local scarcity. 
Certainly an appreciable amount of such 
furniture must have survived, but, as with 
almost every land of Charleston-made 
furniture, there is still the question of where 
it is and under what origin it is masquerad- 

Japanned Furniture 


Charlestonians owned japanned furniture. 
The early inventories occasionally, though 
rarely, mention a piece of japanned ware 
among the household effects of opulent 
planters or merchants. In an inventory 
dated July 27, 1724, is Iked a "Japan 
Chest-of-Drawers" valued at &40. 1 The 
following year appears a "Jappand Scrip- 
tore" value at 20; * a little later there is 
mention of a "Japanned Corner Cup- 
board." Until about the middle of the 


eighteenth century, a piece of japanned 
furniture is rarely listed in the inventories; 
after that time there is practically no men- 
tion of it. 

The rare occurrence of japanned furni- 
ture can be readily explained by the fact 
that it deteriorated rapidly in the moist 
climate and the humid summer heat of 
South Carolina unless it were the true 
oriental lacquer. Moreover, most japanned 
furniture is made out of an inferior wood 
which would be subject to borers. Finally 
Charlestonians quickly recognized the 
superiority of mahogany for its enduring 
qualities, and the early cabinet-makers pro- 
duced mahogany furniture to meet that 
preference. Nevertheless, some japanned 
furniture must have been produced. 

Records prior to 1732, the date of the 
founding of the South Carolina Gazette, 
fail to reveal the name of any japanners, but 
on April 7, 1757, John Davison advertised 
in the Gazette that "Having undertaken to 
follow the business of House and Ship 
Painting, Plumbing, Glazing, and Japan- 
ning, takes this method to acquaint the 
public therefore . . ." Wayne and Ruger, 
Painters and Glaziers, advertised in the 
South Carolina Gazette; And Country 
Journal on May 10, 1768, that "they carry 
on the House and Ship-Painting Business, 
in all its Branches; Signs and Floor Cloths, 
painted as neat as any in London, Gilding, 
Japanning, Glazing, etc. etc." So far it is 
only in these advertisements that any ref- 
erence to japanning has been found. 

Among the articles in the sale of Mrs. 
Loocock's furniture which took place on 
April 12, 1800, is found "an elegant set of 
JAPANNED Chairs and two SOFAS." 3 
Presumably this furniture was done in the 
prevailing style of japanning of that time, 
and is not to be confused with the japan- 
ning of the earlier period. 4 


not be included in a study of furniture, but 
furniture requiring brasses would indeed 
look strange without them. From the mid- 
eighteenth century "brasses for furniture" 

O J 

is often listed by the various merchants in 
their advertisements noting the arrival of a 
shipment of goods from London. 1 In fact, 
furniture brasses appear so frequently in 
the advertisements during this period that 
even if one did not know the number of 
cabinet-makers working in Charleston, one 
could not help but draw the conclusion that 
a large amount of furniture was being made 

Feeling that he could compete with the 
importation, John Robertson started his 
own brass foundry, as is indicated by his 
advertisement in the South Carolina Ga- 
zette of December 16, 1760: "John Robert- 
son, Brass-Founder, in King-Street. Begs 
leave to return thanks to those gentlemen 
and others who have been pleased to favor 
him with their custom, and at the same 
time informs them that he continues to 
make, in the neatest manner, all sorts of 
brass candlesticks and church-lusters or 
branches; also cabinet, desk, drawer, coach, 
chair and chaise mountings; brass tongs, 
shovels and fenders; bells, brass weights, . . . 
READY MONEY will be given for old 
brass, copper, pewter, bell mettal (sic) or 
lead, by said Robertson" No doubt many 
of the local cabinet-makers availed them- 
selves of the brasses from Robertson's foun- 
dry. While it would be gratifying to the 
owner of a Charleston-made piece to 
surmise that he was also the owner of 
Charleston-made brasses, there probably 
will never be a way of telling a locally- 
made brass from an imported one. 

Throughout the last decade of the 
eighteenth century and well into the nine- 
teenth century one finds advertisements 
telling of brasses imported from abroad. 2 
One of the most attractive features of 
Charleston furniture is its lovely brasses. 



difficult to know how the local cabinet- 
makers finished their furniture. Records are 
fragmentary; therefore any statement will 
have to be based a great deal on assumption. 
Because of the strong influence of London 
and the large number of London-trained 
cabinet-makers working in Charleston, it 
is reasonable to assume that furniture made 
in the pre-RevoIutionary period was fin- 
ished in the then prevailing London style. 
That invaluable document, the account 
book of Thomas Elfe, reveals that from 
time to time he purchased linseed oil and 
varnish, 1 undoubtedly to use on his furni- 
ture. He and his contemporary cabinet- 
makers possibly used beeswax dissolved in 
turpentine to give their furniture its final 
polishing. 1 

When it became stylish to have furni- 
ture more highly polished, we get a hint of 
the method from the following advertise- 
ment in the City Gazette for March 15, 
1805: "G. Graham, Student from the Royal 
Academy, London, Portrait Painting, in oil 
or water . . , Furniture varnished." Un- 
doubtedly the Charlestonians were keeping 
abreast of the prevailing style. However, 
the following letter from Joel R. Poinsett 
[after whom the Poinsettia was named] 
throws a rather interesting sidelight on 
what he thought about new-looking furni- 
ture. The letter is dated October 5, 1833, 


and is addressed to J. B. Campbell. It reads 
in part: "I just recollect to have forgotten 
to call and tell Mr. May the Cabinet maker 
on Qn. [Queen] St. what is to be done with 
my Card Tables-tell him they are to be 
levelled, nothing more and especially let 
him abstain from cleaning them up and 
making them look new a thing I abhor I 
like old looking furniture and as they will 
probably go to the Cottage newness must 
be avoided." * 

During the last quarter of the nineteenth 
century it appears to have been the custom 
among many Charleston families to have 
their furniture varnished. This was prob- 
ably done at irregular intervals or when- 
ever the furniture became dingy. Many 
pieces of furniture have come to light that 
show many layers of varnish. With the 
passage of rime these many coats have be- 
come so deeply cracked that the surface 
gives the appearance of being "gator" 



necessary to have fine took While it is true 
that the local cabinet-makers were un- 
doubtedly ingenious in devising certain 
types of tools needed in their trade, the 
vast majority came from abroad. An ad- 
vertisement in the Gazette of May 13, 1769, 
states that a shipment of carpenters' and 
cabinet-makers' tools had just arrived from 
London. Such an advertisement would lead 
us to believe, if we were not already aware 
of the fact, that a considerable number of 
cabinet-makers were plying their trade in 
Charleston. It seems to have been the cus- 
tom to import cabinet-makers' tools, for a 
similar advertisement appeared in the Times 
on November 2, 1801. It was during this 
decade that we find the greatest number of 
cabinet-makers working in Charleston. 



These are the men 'who made the furni- 
ture. It is hoped that eventually their 
'work will be identified and belated 
recognition be accorded their craftsman- 

Josiah Allen 

WORKING 1809-1813 

We know very little about Josiah Allen. 
His name appears for the first time in the 1809 
directory. The following year he assigned a 
lot in Bottle Alley to Silvia Manwill; 1 and 
on Christmas Day, 1811, his son Josiah Smith 
was baptized. 2 His name is again listed in the 
1813 directory, but after that time there 
appear to be no extant records of him. 

Robert Archbald 


In taking out his citizenship papers in 
Charleston in 1799, Robert Archbald stated 
that he was a cabinet-maker by profession and 
a native of Dalyshire, Scotland. 1 Nothing is 
known of his activities as a craftsman or of 
what became of him. 



John Artman's name appears in only one 
directory, that for 1803, where he is listed as 
a cabinet-maker at No. 28 Meeting Street. It 
is reasonable to suppose that he gave up 
cabinet-making and became a planter; on De- 
cember 5, 1817, letters were granted to Peter 
Artman, coachmaker, to administer die estate 
of John Artman, planter of James Island 1 

Charles August 


Charles August appears in but one direc- 
tory, that of 1809, at which time he is listed 
as a cabinet-maker at No. 99 Queen Street 


William Axson, Jr. 

WORKING 1768-1800 

It is not known under whom William Axson 
learned his trade, but by 1763 he was in busi- 

ness with Stephen Townsend (q.v.) on the 
northeast corner of Tradd and Church 
Streets. 1 Two years later most of their shop 
was destroyed by a fire which occurred in 
the early morning hours. They were held in 
such respect by the citizens that a subscrip- 
tion was started to help reimburse them for 
this loss, and the money was raised by the end 
of the day. 2 Axson's association with Town- 
send came to an end by 1768, for at that 
time Townsend is advertising that he is mov- 
ing his shop to Meeting Street, 3 while Axson 
states that his shop is on White Point 4 

The interior woodwork in Pompion Hill 
Chapel on the Cooper River and in St. 
Stephen's Church, in the Parish of that name, 
was done by Axson. He seems to have formed 
some sort of partnership with Villepontoux 
but it is thought that Villepontoux probably 
furnished the brick and did the actual brick 
work for both churches. Axson was paid 300 
for doing the woodwork of the gallery of 
St Stephen's, under contract terms providing 
that if it was not finished within a period of 
four months there was to be a penalty of 
50. 5 Axson's name, together with a masonic 
emblem, can be seen to this day incised on 
both Pompion Hill Chapel and St Stephen's 
Church. 6 The churches were built in 1763 
and 1767. 

Axson, the son of William Axson, was prob- 
ably born in Charleston. In 1761 he married 
Elizabeth Mouzon 7 and two years later his 
twin sons, Jehu and John, were born. 8 In 1773 
he was elected a member of the South Carolina 
Society. 9 During the Revolution he is shown 
as being on the Muster Roll of Capt James 
Bentham's Company of Militia (1778). 10 When 
Charleston was captured by the British, Axson 
was sent aboard one of the terrible prison 
ships anchored in the harbor. 11 Presumably 
for not taking the oath of allegience to the 
Crown, Axson, his wife, and two children 
were banished to Philadelphia. 12 

After his return from banishment we hear 
little about him, but in 1788 he marched in 
the Federal Procession as a cabinet-maker. 1 * 
Axson died on September 2, 1800, in his 61st 
year. In his will he mentions his wife Mary 
and four sons. 


Jonathan Badger 

WORKING 1746-C.1755 

Either Jonathan Badger was very versatile 
or there were two men of the same name liv- 
ing in Charleston during the same period. The 
cabinet-maker is first made known to us in 
1746 when he purchased % part of a lot on 
the south side of Tradd Street from Ann 
Waight 1 Two years later he sold a Negro 
girl to Joseph Vanderhorst for 125. 2 

However, on November 13, 1752, the fol- 
lowing advertisement appeared in the South 
Carolina Gazette: "Just Published (neatly en- 
graved on a fine Copper-Plate) a collection 
of the best Psalm and Hymn tunes, to be sold 
by the Subscriber at his house ... As this is 
the first collection of the kind ever made in 
this Province, and all the choicest tunes are 
inserted therein, tis hoped, all Lovers of 
Vocal Musick, will be disposed to encourage 
the Compiler, the price of the book is no 
more than 20 Shillings. Jonathan Badger." It 
is rather remarkable for a cabinet-maker to be 
selling such an item. Three years later we find 
that he leased a lot on Tradd Street from 
Alexander Garden and at that time he is 
spoken of as a joiner. 8 But two years later 
when he purchased a lot in Ansonborough he 
speaks of himself as "Gentleman," 4 the in- 
ference being that if there was only one 
man by that name in Charleston, he had by 
that time made enough money to retire from 
the cabinet-making business. In the same year 
his daughter Mary was bora. 5 

In 1763 and for the next three years we find 
that Jonathan Badger was keeper of the As- 
sembly, and that in 1765 he received, from 
that body, the sum of 100 for the "Valuation 
of a house pulled down in the late fire." 6 
Frequently houses were pulled down or 
blown up to prevent fires from becoming 
conflagrations and apparently the owners 
were reimbursed for their loss. Badger was 
appointed attorney for Mary Scottowe to ad- 
minister on the estate of Joshua Scottowe in 
1768. T In April 1770 he was a member of the 
Grand Jury 8 but in the next month he ap- 
pointed Joseph Badger, Painter and Glazier, 
to be his true and lawful attorney; at that 
time Jonathan Badger and his wife Maiy were 

living at Newport, Rhode Island. In this in- 
strument he again speaks of himself as 
"Gentleman." 9 Badger must have remained at 
Newport, for we find that four years later 
Mary Scottowe had to revoke his appointment 
as her attorney because "the said Jonathan 
Badger hath since removed from Charles 
Town and it becomes necessary for me to 
appoint some other person in his stead." 10 

It is not known whether he returned to 
Charleston. However, on March 20, 1793, a 
Jonathan Badger was admitted to Orange 
Lodge No. 14 (Masonic). The late date makes 
it unlikely that this was the cabinet-maker; 
more probably it was his son or some near 
relative bearing the same name. 

Thomas Barker 


The date of Thomas Barker's arrival in 
Charleston is unknown but it must have been 
early. On February 14, 1694, Thomas Barker, 
Joyner, administered the estate of John 
Parker, mariner of Jamaica. 1 In the following 
year Airs. Barker entered a caveat to the estate 
of June Futthy and prayed for letters of ad- 
ministration. 2 The fact that Mrs. Barker was 
acting in behalf of her husband leads to the 
suggestion that either he was not in the 
colony, or that he had died. The latter sup- 
position, however, is doubtful, for on April 
22, 1706, Mr. Louis Pasquereau and Company 
entered their caveat to the estate of Thomas 
Barker, deceased, as principal creditors, 8 and it 
seems hardly likely that Pasquereau and Com- 
pany would have waited a decade before 
entering their caveat It is much more likely 
that Barker died shortly before the date of 
the caveat 

These legal instruments refer to Barker as 
a "joyner." Had he been a carpenter he would 
have been spoken of as a "house joyner." 
Hence, it may be assumed that he was actually 
a maker of furniture. 


Charles Barksdale 

WORKING 1741- 

An advantageous marriage probably ex- 
plains why Charles Barksdale was able to 


Fig, 54- SIDEBOARD Height 40"; width 6'1"; depth-center 27'/z", end 19 1 // 

F/g. JJ SIDEBOARD Height 39"; width 70"; depth-center 27%", end 23" 

F/g. 56 SIDEBOARD Height 42"; width 6'H 1 //'; depth 32" 

Fig. J7 SIDEBOARD Height 39'/ 4 "; width 65"; depth-center 29", end 22'/ 2 " 

Kg. !S SIDEBOARD Height 35)4"; width 4"i depth-center 22", end 20 1 /:" 

Fig. W SIDEBOARD Height 38 J4"; width 66"; depth-center 27*{ 6 " end 24" 

Fig. 60 SIDEBOARD Height 36'/ 2 "; width 57 J4"; depth 23%" 

Fig. 61 SIDEBOARD Height-back 49|/ 2 ", front 42"; width 6'%"; 
depth-center 26 '/ 2 ", end 22 


leight 39J4"; width 7'2"; depth-center 23'/ 2 ", end 16%" 

Ffg. 63 SIDEBOARD Height 36 3 / 4 "; width 54'/ 8 "; depth-center 23%", end 20ft' 

SIDED LEG (see Fig. 51) 



Fig. 66 FOUR-LEGGED SIDEBOARD dimensions not available 

amass a substantial amount of worldly goods 
by the time of his death. On the fifth of May, 
1741, Mary Wingood, widow of Charles 
Wingood, and her daughter, conveyed some 
property to John Sauseau with the consent of 
Charles Barksdale, cabinet-maker. 1 Two days 
later Barksdale married the widow Wingood. 2 
He seems to have continued his trade for a 
few years in Christ Church Parish, for we find 
that in 1745 he bought some Negroes and at 
that time he speaks of himself as a joiner. 3 
When we next hear of him, several years 
later, he is spoken of as a "planter," 4 and he 
appears to have continued as a planter from 
that time on. There is nothing to indicate 
when he gave up the trade of cabinet-making. 
In 1755, when he purchased 482 acres of 
land in Christ Church Parish, he is spoken of 
as being a large land owner. 5 His will shows 
that he had three sons and two daughters. 6 It 
is possible that one of the girls mentioned in 
it as his daughter was actually his step- 
daughter. His inventory reveals that he had 
among other things a large number of 
Negroes, cattle, oxen, and sheep. The total 
value amounted to 15,758, a sizeable amount 
even if it was in local currency. 7 

James Barnes 


The 1801 directory shows that James 
Barnes, a cabinet-maker, resided at No. 132 
Church Street Continued. His name is not 
listed in the directory for the following year, 
nor is it known what happened to him. Prob- 
ably he was one of those cabinet-makers who 
kept moving from place to place. 

Gerred E. Barrite 


Bamte's name does not appear in the 1822 
directory. We first hear of him on April I, 
1824, when he purchased a piece of property 
on Church Street from Charles B. Mease. 1 On 
November 16 of that year the following rather 
pretentious advertisement appeared in the 
Courier reading: "G. E. Barrite, Cabinet- 
Maker. Gratefully acknowledges die goodness 

and liberality of the citizens of Charleston 


and its vicinity, and begs leave to inform 
them that he has re-commenced his business 
at No. 107 Church street in front of Concert 
Hall . . . LaFayette Bedsteads, the most 
elegant pattern offered in this city, price $55 
a 65: Bureaus $16 a 25; Ladies Work Tables, 
large size $18 a 20 ... Mahogany half 
Blinds, $6 a piece . . . Sofas and Chairs re- 
stuffed and covered at short notice . . . Two 
Journeymen will find steady employment. 
N. B. A colored Boy of Proper age, will be 
taken as an Apprentice." 

Several interesting facts may be deduced 
from this advertisement: first, Barrite must 
have been working before this time if he "re- 
commenced" his business; second, Lafayette 
Bedsteads were in vogue, and their price is 
also given; third, Barrite must have been suc- 
cessful at this time if he could offer employ- 
ment to two journeymen cabinet-makers; and 
finally, his taking a colored boy as an appren- 
tice indicates that such apprenticing was a 
normal custom of the time. 

In spite of this advertisement, apparently 
Barrite did not prosper. The 1829 directory 
lists a G. K Barit (sic) as a grocer. His name 
does not appear in the directory for 183L 
Two years later the property that Barrite had 
purchased in 1824 was sold at public auction 
to Mrs. Harriette Sollee for a foreclosure of a 
mortgage, 2 and with that date the records 

Mitchell Boruille 

WORKING 1807-1816 

Although he is listed in the directories as 
living on Society Street nothing further can 
be ascertained about Mitchell Barville. In all 
probability he was employed by some other 
cabinet-maker. The records of the Register of 
Mesne Conveyance provide no evidence that 
he owned any property nor is his will filed 
in the Probate Court 



All that is known about William Baylis 
comes from an advertisement inserted in die 


City Gazette and Daily Advertiser on July 
1, 1796: "Lost, on the night of the Fire, Two 
Cabinet Maker's Benches; two Brass Backed 
Saws; one Dining Table; Two Breakfast 
Tables; one shell of a Bureau. Whoever will 
be so generous as to deliver any of the above 
Articles at William Baylis, opposite the 
Scotch Meeting, will receive a reward, if re- 
quired." The fire referred to was the great 
conflagration of 1796 which destroyed a large 
part of the city. 

It is quite possible that Baylis was associated 
^ith, or worked for, Alexander Calder (q.v.), 
for we find that Calder, a few months later, 
advertised that he was opposite the Scots 
Church. Nothing further is known of the 
activities of Baylis except for a deed recorded 
on May 17, 1797, from Henry Geddes to 
William Baylis, carpenter, for 640 acres of 
land in the Orangeburg District. 1 If this was 
the same Baylis, he probably moved to his new 

James Beamer 
-1693/4 WORKING c. 1687-1693/4 

While James Beamer is spoken of only as a 
joiner, his inventory clearly reveals that he 
made furniture. The inventory lists "rings for 
drawers," "a parcel of bed Scrues," a large 
number of "gouges" and "chissells," "200 
foote of cedar boards," and a parcel of cedar. 1 
The mention of this last item helps to sub- 
stantiate the theory that cedar was the wood 
most used in the seventeenth century. 

It is not known when Beamer came to this 
country, but in 1687 he devised to his stepson, 
Joseph Tattnall, certain properties that were 
to be delivered to him at the age of twenty- 
one. 2 In Beamer's will, recorded on March 19, 
1693/4, he mentions his two sons, John and 
Jacob, his wife Margaret and his son-in-law 
[step-son] Joseph Tattnall. 3 

Claude Becaise [Becaisse] 

WORKING 1806-1816 

As his name indicates Charles Becaise was a 
Frenchman. The date of his arrival in Charles- 
ton is unknown but his name is Iked for the 


first time in the 1806 directory. It was not 
until 1815 that he took out his citizenship 
papers. At that time he stated that he was 
fifty-two years old and late of Provence in 
France. 1 Undoubtedly he learned his trade in 
that country, and it is quite reasonable to 
suppose that he would have added a distinctive 
French touch to his furniture. It is not known 
what eventually happened to him. 

Lewis Besseleu 

WORKING 1806-1807 

A Lewis Besseleu (probably the cabinet- 
maker) was born on March 26, 1779. 1 Besseleu 
appears in two directories, those of 1806 and 
1807. He is listed as a cabinet-maker at No. 
29 Beaufain Street. It is not known what hap- 
pened to him after 1807. Letters of Ad- 
ministration were granted to Elizabeth Bes- 
selleu (sic), widow, on November 2, 1827, to 
administer on the estate of John Lewis 
Besselleu, coach-maker. 2 Possibly this is the 
same man, who had given up cabinet-making 
to become a coach-maker. 

John Biggard 


John Biggard, "lately arrived from Phila- 
delphia," was primarily a turner but in the 
advertisement which he inserted on March 23, 
1767, in the South Carolina Gazette; And 
Country Journal he states that he has opened 
his shop on Queen Street "where gentlemen 
may be supplied with Windsor and garden 
chairs, walking sticks and many other kinds of 
turnery ware, as neatly finished and cheaper 
than can be imported." At the time, Windsor 
chairs were being imported from both Eng- 
land and Philadelphia. Biggard no doubt made 
his Windsor chairs in the same manner as he 
had been taught to do in Philadelphia. Which 
brings up the interesting question of how one 
is to distinguish between a locally made 
Windsor chair turned by Biggard and an 
imported Philadelphia-made Windsor chair. 

The records fail to reveal how long Big- 
gard maintained his turner's shop on Queen 
Street or what eventually happened to him. 


Martin Binsky 

c. 1748-1750 

Martin Binsky or Bensky is preserved for 
us not because of the furniture he made but 
because he lost his wife. The f ollowing item 
appears in The South Carolina Gazette for 
September 13-16, 1751: "MARY ANN 
BINSKY, the Wife of Martin Binsky, having 
eloped from her husband, with most part of 
his effects. This is therefore to forworn all 
persons, from trusting the same Mary Binsky y 
in the name of her husband, for he will not 
be accountable for any debts by her con- 
tracted, after publication hereof. MARTIN 
BINSKY." The name of Maiy's paramour is 
unknown. Binsky and Mary Stongeon had 
married on February 9, 1748. 1 

Apparently Binsky continued in business 
and ultimately found himself a new wife, for 
in his will which was probated on April 15, 
1758, he names his wife Christina executrix 
and leaves 300 "lawful money to his son 
Johannes to purchase a negro boy not exceed- 
ing 13 or 14 years of age to be bound out to a 
Cabinet Maker" 2 The largest single item in 
Binsky's inventory is fifty gallons of rum 
valued at 50. s 

Jonathan Bird 
1777-1807 WORKING c. 1807 

All that is known about Bird is contained 
in an article in the City Gazette for Septem- 
ber 22, 1807: 'Died, on Sullivan's Island, on 
Saturday morning last, Mr. Jonathan Bird, 
Cabinet-maker, aged 30 years, a native of 
Yorkshire, England. The pleasing manners 
and disposition of this young man, had en- 
deared him to his friends and acquaintances 
who will long deplore the loss of so valuable 
a friend and member of society." His in- 
ventory shows that Bird was a man of small 
means. 1 It is not known when he came to 
Charleston or for whom he worked. 

Nathmel Block 


Block is another cabinet-maker of whom 
practically nothing is known. Doubtless, he 

worked for some one else and then moved to 
another locality. He is listed only in lie di- 
rectory of 1809, and is shown as living on 
Wentworth Street 

John Bomer 

WORKING 1822-1855 

For a man who worked in Charleston as a 
cabinet-maker for over thirty years, remark- 
ably little is known about John Bonner's 
activities. His name appears for the first time 
in the 1822 directory; die last in the directory 
of 1855. The only other record that we have 
of him comes from the Records of the 
Stewards of the Orphan House. "Sept 11, 
1828 Francis Payne an Orphan House Boy 
was bound out to John Bonner, cabinet- 
maker." Two years later Payne was trans- 
ferred from Bonner to William Meeker, 
the reason for the transfer is not 


Bonner's will is not in the files of the Pro- 
bate Court nor is any notice of his death to 
be found in the records of the Health De- 

Thomas Bradford 
-1799 WORKING 1792-1799 

Were it not for the fact that the Probate 
Court, when granting letters of administration 
to Mrs. Lydia Ann Bradford, widow, speaks 
of the late Thomas Bradford as a cabinet- 
maker, he would not be included in this 
work, 1 for it is thought that he was primarily 
an upholsterer. In 1792, when he formed a 
copartnership with Henry Clements, a 
cabinet- and chairmaker, he speaks of himself 
as an upholsterer, 2 It is not known how long 
the copartnership lasted. 

In 17W Bradford purchased from Edward 
Rutledge a lot on King Street for 550 
Sterling money. 5 Two years kter he pur- 
chased, at a Sheriffs sale, a lot on the east 
side of Church Street for 924> In neither 
deed is his occupation given. The inventory 
of his estate makes no mention of any cabinet- 
maker's took but lists a great deal of material 
that would normally be found in a dry goods 


store. 5 This material was probably used by 
Bradford in his upholstery business. 

Charles Brewer 


Nowhere can a mention of Charles Brewer's 
occupation be found. However, in the inven- 
tory of his estate taken on September 29, 1729, 
is listed a large number of planes, gauges, and 
chisels; of even greater significance is the 
entry of "a parcel of Turning tools" and "1 
glew pott and brushes." 1 Such articles give 
strong indication that Brewer must have made 

Richard Brickies 


In his will, dated August 13, 1737, and pro- 
bated a year later, Richard Brickies speaks of 
himself as a joiner. He also mentions owning 
part of lot No. 136 bounded to the north- 
ward on my Dwelling House commonly 
known by the name of the Crown Inn in 
which I now dwell*" He appoints his wife 
Sarah and Archibald Young, carpenter, as 
executors. Brickies speaks of his son Thomas 
and desires that "he go to school until 14 and 
then apprenticed to a carpenter." 1 

Brickies and Sarah Warmingham were 
married in January, 1732. The date of his 
marriage and the date of his will, considered 
together, suggest that Brickies died when he 
was a comparatively young man. 

The following January their son Richard 
was born, 2 but the child must have died in 
infancy, for he was not mentioned in his 
father's will. Brickies' son Thomas must have 
been very young at the time of his father's 
death; in September, 1747, John Nelson was 
granted letters of guardianship to Thomas 
Brickies until he should reach the age of four- 
teen. 8 


- Blythe 


Carolina Gazette for August 12-19, 1732: "At 
New-Market Plantation, about a mile from 
Charleston, will continue to be sold all sorts 
of Cabinet Work, chests of Drawers, and Ma- 
hogany Tables and Chairs made after the best 
manner; as also all sorts of peer Glasses, 
Sconces, and dressing Glasses. Where all sorts 
of bespoke Work is made and mended at the 
lowest Price, by Mess. Broomhead and 

One very significant thing in this advertise- 
ment is the early mention of mahogany. There 
seems to be nothing new or unusual about it 
and one can infer that it was already in com- 
mon use in Charleston by that time. 

After this advertisement Broomhead disap- 
pears completely. It is thought that Blythe 
moved to Georgetown, S. C, for in 1733 a 
"Thomas Blythe of Winyaw, Joyner," sold lot 
No. 116 in Georgetown to Isaac Chardon 
and Thomas Laroche. 1 

Daniel Brown 


Daniel Brown is listed in the 1801 directory 
as a cabinet-maker living on King Street. 
There appear to have been other Daniel 
Browns living in Charleston during the same 
period. In 1806 a Daniel Brown applied for a 
license to sell "Spiritous Liquors." l Whether 
Daniel the cabinet-maker moved away or 
changed his profession is not known. 

Hugh Brown 


It is not known when the partnership of 
Broomhead and Blythe was formed. Their 
only advertisement appeared in the South 

Were it not for the fact that Hugh Brown 
conveyed some property to John Kelly it 
would not be known that he worked as a 
cabinet-maker in Charleston. In the deed 
dated December 30, 1772, Hugh Brown, 
cabinet-maker, and his wife Mary conveyed 
some property on the west side of King Street 
to Kelly. 1 

On February 4, 1774, a Hugh Brown of 
Granville County, planter, and Mary his wife 
conveyed to James Henry Butler a lot of land 
in Charles Town. 2 The following year a 
citation was granted to Mary Brown of St 


Mark's Parish to administer on the estate and 
effects of Hugh Brown, late of the said parish, 
planter. 3 The similarity of the names gives 
some basis for the presumption that Hugh 
Brown, the cabinet-maker, ultimately became 
a planter. 

Michael Bro r um 


In all probability Michael Brown was an- 
other peripatetic cabinet-maker. His name ap- 
pears in but one directory, that of 1809, where 
he is named a cabinet-maker at No, 99 Queen 
Street. It is not known for whom he worked 
or where he went. 

Bulkley * Co. 

WORKING? 1819 

The name of this firm is listed in one direc- 
tory, that of 1819, which states that they are 
"cabinet makers" at No. 254 King Street 
Since this was the same location as that of the 
New York Cabinet Furniture Warehouse, it 
seems likely that Bulkley & Co. were only im- 
porters of furniture. At that particular time 
a good deal of furniture made in New York 
was being imported into Charleston. The firm 
must have been in existence only a short time 
for no further information has been dis- 
covered concerning them. 

Patrick Burke 

WORKING 1801-1803 

The name of Patrick Burke suggests that he 
must have been of Irish extraction. He is 
listed for the first time in the 1801 directory 
as being at No. 43 Queen Street The next 
year he is shown as being at No. 40 Queen 
Street, which was the former location of the 
shop of Jacob Sass (qx.). By the following 
year he had either moved a third time or the 
street numbers had been changed The records 
of the Register of Mesne Conveyance provide 
no evidence that he owned any property nor 
is his will filed in the Ptobate Court 

James Burn 

WORKING c. 1790-c. 1802 

James Burn is another very little known 
cabinet-maker. He is listed in the city direc- 
tory of 1790 as being at No. 285 King Street 
In the 1802 directory he is listed as being at 
No. 39 Church-street-continued, but after 
that time there appears to be no extant record 
of him. Doubtless, he worked for some other 

Isaac Came 


The only record concerning Isaac Caine is 
contained in his will, dated March 28, 1786, 
and probated ten days later. In the will Caine r 
who speaks of himself as a cabinet-maker, 
leaves his estate to his mother; after her death 
it is to go to his brother John. Caine also men- 
tions another brother by the name of Daniel 1 

The fact that Caine was a post-Revolution- 
ary cabinet-maker may explain why so little 
is known about his activities, for at the time 
of his death Charleston was just beginning to 
recover from the economic disruption caused 
by the Revolution. 

Alexander Colder 
1773-1849 WORKING 1796-c. 1807 

It is not known when Alexander Older 
came to Charleston, but by 1796 he was so 
well established that on December 10 he in- 
serted the following advertisement in the City 
Gazette and Advertiser: "Alexander Calder, 
Cabinet-maker, opposite to the Scots Church, 
Meeting-Street, Begs to inform the Public in 
general, that he has on hand a Variety of 
elegant and useful Cabinet Work, consisting 
of Secretaries and Wardrobes-Secretaries and 
Book Cases of different patterns-Ladies dress- 
ing Chests of different forms, Card and Break- 
fast Tables, do, do. Elegant Sideboards, do, 
Sets of Dressing Tables, A variety of hand- 
some Chairs and Sofas of the newest fashion." 

Calder and a Mrs. Scott were married on 
Februaiy 15, 1797. 1 In taking out his citizen- 
ship papers in 1803, Calder stated that he was 


thirty years of age, a cabinet-maker by pro- 
fession and a native of Edinburgh, Scotland. 2 

During the month of January, 1801, Calder 
inserted several long advertisements in the 
South Caroliw State Gazette, and Timothy's 
Daily Advertiser stating that he had on hand 
"Sideboards of different patterns, Card Tables, 
Tea Tables and Chests of Drawers of various 
patterns. Also many other articles including 
Sofas." He ended his advertisements with "All 
of which will be sold low for cash or pro- 
duce." It would appear that ready money w r as 
scarce and that Calder was perfectly willing 
to take rice or some other commodity in pay- 

About 1807 Calder seems to have given up 
cabinet-making and gone into the hotel busi- 
ness. In 1809 an Alexander Calder, presumably 
the same man, purchased from John Ward 
for $16,000 the lot on the southwest corner 
of Queen and Church Streets "whereon a 
theatre formerly stood." s This was the site of 
the Planters Hotel, now the site of the Dock 
Street Theatre. A decade later Calder opened 
the Planters Hotel on Sullivans Island, S. C, 
for the summer. 4 

Calder became a member of Orange Lodge 
No. 14 (Masonic) on December 4, 1807, and 
was admitted to the St. Andrews Society in 
1819. Calder appears to have died childless; in 
his will, probated March 17, 1849, he men- 
tions Alexander Calder, son of his nephew 
James Calder, and several other nephews and 
nieces. 5 Calder died of "old age" at the age of 
seventy-eight and is buried in the church- 
yard of the First Presbyterian Church, 6 
opposite his old shop. 


James Colder 

WORKING 1809-1855 

James Calder, a nephew of Alexander 
Calder, came to Charleston as a very young 
man. In 1809 his shop was situated at No. 38 
Meeting Street, probably at the same location 
as that of his uncle. By that time, however, 
his uncle seems to have abandoned the cabinet- 
making business and to be devoting his time 
to running a hotel 

In taking out his citizenship papers in 1813, 

James Calder stated that he was twenty-three 
years of age, a cabinet-maker by profession, 
and a native of Glasgow, Scotland. 

In 1813 his son Alexander, undoubtedly 
named for his uncle, was baptized. His wife 
Marion (sic), daughter of Thomas Wallace, 
another Scotchman and cabinet-maker, died 
on November 14, 1816, at the age of twenty- 

Like all good Scotchmen, Calder became 
a member of the St. Andrews Society, to 
which he was admitted in 1816. He continued 
in the cabinet-making business, moving to 
different locations in the city, until the time 
of his death, which occurred on November 
21, 1855. Strangely enough, Calder is interred 
in the "Lutheran Burying Ground." 

It is not known when he remarried or to 
whom, but in his will Calder mentions his wife 
Sarah and seven children. 

Another James Calder, a merchant, lived in 
Charleston at the same time as the cabinet- 

Benjamin Canter 


Canter appears in only one directory, that 
of 1813, where he is shown as living at 64 
Broad Street. Elzas, in his Jews of South Caro- 
lina, lists a Benjamin Canter as being in 
Charleston in 1802. This is probably the same 
man, though it is strange that his name does 
not appear in any of the previous directories. 

Andrew Carman 



The only information that can be found 
about Carman is contained in his obituary 
notice, which appeared in the Courier on 
November 7, 1806: "Departed this life, on 
Friday last, the 31st ult., after a lingering ill- 
ness, in the 22d year of his age, Mr. Andrew 
Carman, cabinet-maker." It is not known 
under whom he learned his trade. 

John Carne 

WORKING c. 1765 

The name of John Came occurs in an 
indenture, dated May 12, 1765, by which 


Mary Hutchinson transferred three slaves to 
Thomas and Mathias Hutchinson. Carne is 
there spoken of as a cabinet-maker. The mar- 
riage of John Carne and Alary Hutchinson 
took place a short time later. 

Little is known of Carne. In 1764 Edward 
Weyman, an upholsterer and plate glass 
polisher and grinder formed a copartnership 
with Carne. On March 31, 1764, they adver- 
tised in the South Carolina Gazette under the 
name of Weyman and Carne. In addition to 
saying that they would quicksilver and frame 
old glass, they stated that they were also en- 
gaged in the "several Branches of Cabinet- 
making." It is reasonable to suppose that Carne 
was the new partner. The copartnership was 
of short duration for on December 2, 1766, 
Edward Weyman was advertising by himself. 
What subsequently happened to Carne is not 

William Carmthen 
1704-1770 WORKING 1730-c. 1750 

William Carwithen married Mary Bisset on 
January 1, 1730. 1 That is the earliest fact that 
we have concerning him. In 1732 Mary Car- 
wither^ the wife of William Carwithen, pur- 
chased from Jane Bissett, widow of Elias 
Bissett, a lot on Middle Street (Elliott Street). 2 
Jane was probably the mother of Mary. 

When Carwithen was well established, 
some one (possibly a competitor) started a 
rumor that he was going out of business. Car- 
withen answered the rumor with the follow- 
ing advertisement in the South Carolina 
Gazette on April 21, 1733: 'Whereas I have 
been informed by People thro' several Parts 
of the Country, that there has been a Ma- 
licious Report, persuading my Customers that 
I have left off Trade: These are to satisfy all 
People as shall want Desk and Book-Gases, 
Chests of Drawers, Clock Cases, Tables of all 
Sorts, Peer-Glass Frames, Swinging Frames, 
and all other sorts of Cabinet Ware, made as 
neat as ever, and Cheap." 

On August 7, 1735, Carwithen was granted 
450 acres on the Edisto River by "His said 
Majesty by his Letters Patent under the great 
seal of the Province." Two years later he sold 
this property to Samuel Fley. 8 In 1746 Car- 

withen and his wife Mary sold a piece of 
property on Middle Street to Isaac Holmes. 
This may have been the same piece of prop- 
erty that Mary bought in 1732. In the deed 
Caiwithen is spoken of as a cabinet-maker. 4 

Nothing more can be found about Car- 
withen the cabinet-maker. However, on No- 
vember 20, 1756, Governor Lytdeton 
appointed William Carwithen, Gentleman, to 
be messenger to the Commons House of As- 
sembly. 5 In April, 1770, William Carwithen 
was a member of the Grand Jury. 6 

On September 3, 1770, the following 
obituary notice appeared in the South Caro- 
lina & American General Gazette: "Last Sun- 
day died, aged 66 (41 of which he had 
resided in the province) Mr. William Car- 
withen, Librarian of the Charles Town Library 
Society," On October 5, 1770, a citation was 
granted to Mary Carwithen to administer 
"the Estate and Effects of William Carwithen 
late of St Michael's parish Gentleman as 
nearest of kin." 7 

It is not known when Carwithen gave up 
cabinet-making nor when he became Librarian 
of the Charles Town Library Society. 

Thomas Chtrnock 

WORKING c. 1810-c. 1822 

Qiarnock was a free Negro. In 1810 he sold 
a lot and building on the north side of Par- 
sonage Alley to Sara Cooper for S600. 1 His 
name appears in the 1819 directory as a 
cabinet-maker at No. 16 Magazine Street 
Three years later he moved to 37 Anson 
Street 2 

By 1819 there were probably many Negro 
cabinet-makers working in Charleston. No 
doubt most of them were slaves owned by 
white cabinet-makers. Since the free Negro 
cabinet-maker does not make his appearance 
until many years later, Charnock appears as 
an exceptional figure. He may have been, as a 
matter of fact, die first free Negro cabinet- 
maker to work in Charleston. 

John Clarke 


Qarke's name appears only in the directory 
of 1809, where he is listed as a cabinet-maker 


at No. 29 King Street Nothing further 
be discovered concerning him. 


George Claypoole 

WORKING c. 1728 

The Claypoole family appear to have been 
cabinet-makers in Philadelphia. The only in- 
formation that we have about George comes 
from a single deed made "Between George 
Claypoole late of Philadelphia but now of 
Charles Town, Joyner and Thomas Kimberly, 
chairmaker," for six acres of land near 
Charleston for 400 current money. "Where- 
as the sd Rebecca Weekley formerly Rebecca 
Rouse Died intestate leaving issue one Daugh- 
ter named Rebecca then married to one Joseph 
Claypoole of the city of Philadelphia . . , 
Joiner which sd Rebecca Claypoole is since 
Deceased leaving Issue behind her the above 
named George Claypoole the eldest son and 
heir." 1 

It is not known when George Claypoole 
came to Charleston or how long he worked 
there. Except for the deed just quoted, his 
name does not appear in the records of the 
Register of Mesne Conveyance nor in the 
Records of the Probate Court. 

Josiah Claypoole 

WORKING 1740-1757 

Josiah Claypoole was the son of Joseph 
Claypoole. No doubt he learned his trade 
from his father in Philadelphia. In 1738 
Joseph gave to his son "his Stock and Imple- 
ments of Trade" and apparently retired from 
business. 1 Within two years Josiah had moved 
to Charleston, for the following item ap- 
peared in the South Carolina Gazette on 
March 22, 1740: "Notice is hereby given, that 
all Persons may be supplied with all sorts of 
Joyner's and Cabinet-Maker's Work, as Desk 
and Book Cases, with arch'd, Pediment or 
G Heads, common Desks of all sorts, 
Chests of Drawers of all Fashions fluked or 
plain; all sorts of Tea Tables, Side-Boards and 
Waiters, Rule joint Skeleton Tables, Frames 
for Marble Tables, all after the newest and 
best Fashions, and with the greatest Neatness 


and Accuracy by Josiah Claypoole from 
Philadelphia, who may be spoke with at Capt 
Crostfrwaite's in Kiwg-street, or at his Shop 
next Door to Mr. Lormier's near the Market 
Square, he has Coffin Furniture of all sorts, 
either flour'd, silver'd or plain. NB He will 
warrant his Work for 7 years, the ill Usage of 
careless Servants only excepted." 

Claypoole prospered to such an extent that 
he was unable to supply the demands of his 
customers, for he advertised in the South 
Carolina Gazette on April 9, 1741, that ". . . 
whereas by a constant Hurry of Cabinet 
Work, it has so happened that I have disap- 
pointed several good Customers, this is further 
to give Notice, that in a short Time I shall 
have two good workmen from London, and 
shall then be in a Capacity to suit any Person 
who shall favor me with their Employ." 

The next year Claypoole advertised for "an 
indented Servant from London, named 
Robert Allen, by Trade a Carpenter, but can 
work at the Cabinet makers Business . . ." 
Allen had run away. The advertisement con- 
tinues with a description of Allen and warns 
all Masters of vessels to be careful not to give 
him passage. Claypoole then offers a reward 
of 25 and all reasonable expenses. 2 Allen may 
have been one of the two workmen Clay- 
poole expected from London. It is not known 
whether he was apprehended. 

In 1745 Claypoole requested that all persons 
indebted to him make payment by the first of 
April "in order to receive Twenty Shillings 
in the Pound." 3 Three years later Claypoole 
was in financial difficulties and he was taken 
into custody by the Provost Marshal for a 
debt he owed William Greenland (q. v.). 4 

Claypoole's wife was named Sarah. Their 
son John was buried on October 16, 1756. 
Another son, Thomas, was buried on October 
23, 1757. The records reveal that Thomas was 
the son of Josiah Claypoole deceased, 5 indicat- 
ing that Josiah, the cabinet-maker, must have 
died between October 1756 and October 1757, 

Henry Clements 


In March 1792 dements formed a co- 
partnership with Thomas Bradford 

On June 28, 1792, they advertised in the City 
Gazette and Advertiser that they were moving 
their shop from King Street opposite Price's 
Alley to No. 30 Broad Street and that they 
would "carry on the above branches in the 
compleatest manner, having the newest pt- 
terns, a good assortment of wood, also a 
sufficient number of good workmen, which 
enable them to execute any quantity of furni- 
ture with dispatch and punctuality, and on 
the most reasonable terms for cash or pro- 
duce. ... All orders in the above branches 
will be well and neatly executed, such as 
cabriole sofas, and Chairs of various patterns, 
cabinet furniture of any kinds; bedsteads of 
all kinds and prices, Venetian blinds . . ." 

They did no more advertising and it is not 
known how long the copartnership lasted. 



Cocks, a Philadelphia cabinet-maker, was 
probably in Charleston only for a very short 
time. He advertised in the [Philadelphia] 
Federal Gazette on July 14, 1798. On Sep- 
tember 14, 1798, he inserted the following 
advertisement in the City Gazette and Ad- 
vertiser "At the store in Broad street ... has 
for sale, for Cash or Produce only, as he in- 
tends to return immediately to the North- 
ward. A Most elegant Assortment of Furni- 
ture just imported from Philadelphia, which 
he intends to sell for cost and charges." It is 
certain that whoever availed himself of such 
an offer secured a bargain. 

It is not known why Cocks did not stay in 
Charleston. The advertisement of the "Estate 
of Wm Cocks, deceased" appeared in the 
[Philadelphia] Federal Gazette of November 
28, 1799. 

Thomas Coker 

WORKING c. 1772-c. 1775 

We are first introduced to Coker by an 
entry in the account book of Thomas Elfe 
(q.v.). In April 1772 Elfe paid Coker 30 
for making a dozen chairs, 1 Whether Coker 
worked for Elfe on a piece basis or as an inde- 

pendent cabinet-maker is not clear. Coker's 
name appears from time to time in Elfe's 
account book, the last entry being in June, 
1775, (a few months before the death of Elfe) 
when Elfe paid Coker 38 "in full 51 2 Noth- 
ing more is known about him. In 1793 a 
Thomas Coker was living in the Georgetown 
District. 3 Possibly this was the same man. 

Thomas Cook (e) 

WORKING 1774-1792 

Cook, like Coker (q.v.) worked for Thomas 
Elfe (ftt). In September 1774 Elfe paid 
Cook fiSO. 1 Possibly this was also for making 
a dozen chairs. Nothing more is heard of him 
until 1781 when a Thomas Cooke (sic) was 
sent aboard one of the British prison ships 
lying in Charleston Harbor. 2 At the end of 
that year Cook and many others were ban- 
ished to Philadelphia, 8 presumably for not 
taking the oath of allegiance to the Crown- 
It is not known when Cook returned to 
Charleston but on May 10, 1784, he qualified 
as an executor of the estate of Benjamin 
Wheeler, another cabinet-maker. 4 The follow- 
ing year Cook executed a mortgage to Aaron 
Loocock for 476 "at the rate of 21 shilling 
and nine pence Sterling to the Guinea and 
four shillings and eight pence Sterling to the 
dollar, payable in gold or silver . . ." Cook 
gave as collateral Lot No. 6 in Romney on 
Charleston Neck. 8 In 1786 he was one of die 
sureties for the estate of Jane Massey. 6 

Cook did no advertising and he is not heard 
of again until 1790 when his name appears in 
the directory for that year as being a cabinet- 
maker at No. 12 Meeting Street. 7 The mort- 
gage that he had given to Aaron Loocock was 
satisfied on February 3, 1792. After that time 
no further record can be found about him. 

William Cooley 


The 1819 directory lists William Cooley as 
a cabinet-maker residing on the King Street 
Road This meant that Cooley was living out- 
side the then city limits. It is not known what 


happened to him. Neither his will nor his in- 
ventory appears in the records of the Probate 

Charles Coquereau 

WORKING 1798-1816 

Charles Coquereau, "about five feet high," 
kte of Rochelle in the French Republic, took 
out his first citizenship papers on April 2, 
1798. 1 It is not known what happened to him 
for the next few years. In 1814 John Henry 
Schoup, an orphan house boy, was appren- 
ticed to Coquereau and the following year 
another orphan house boy by the name of 
John Bross was also apprenticed to him. 2 The 
directory for 1816 lists Coquereau as a 
cabinet-maker at No. 196 King Street Coque- 
reau was one of the founders of the Societe 
Francaise of Charleston. 3 

His name appears in none of the later 
directories nor is his will recorded in the 
Probate Court It is not known what eventu- 
ally happened to him. 


John Cowan 

WORKING 1819-1850 

John Cowan was a native of Scotland. The 
date of his arrival in Charleston is nowhere 
recorded. His name appears for the first time 
in the 1819 directory, where he is listed as a 
cabinet-maker at No. 68 Meeting Street 
Subsequent directories continue to list him as 
a cabinet-maker. The last time his name ap- 
pears is in the 1849 directory where he is 
shown as living at No. 5 Philadelphia Alley. 

Unlike most Scotsmen who came to 
Charleston, Cowan apparently did not pros- 
per, for no record can be found where he 
purchased any property. He died intestate at 
the age of sixty on November 24, 1850, of 
heart disease. 1 


Adorn Culliatt 

WORKING 1757-1768 

In 1733 an Adam Culliatt was one of the 
petitioners requesting a new minister for 
Purysbuig. 1 This was a settlement consisting 

mostly of Huguenots on the South Carolina 
side of the Savannah River. Whether this was 
the cabinet-maker or his father is not clear. 
The first record of the cabinet-maker appears 
in an advertisement in The South Carolina 
Gazette for April 14, 1757: "Being removed 
[from Charleston] to Jacksonborough, Pon- 
pon, gives notice to all gentlemen and ladies 
who may want any kind of Cabinet, Joiners 
or Carpenter's work done that they be served 
by him to their satisfaction . . ." Jackson- 
boro, situated on the Edisto River, is about 
twenty-five miles south of Charleston and is 
surrounded by many large plantations. In 
making this move Culliatt must have thought 
that there was a sufficient number of people 
living on these plantations to keep him occu- 

Just before his move, Culliatt purchased 
from Charles Lowndes, Provost Marshal, Lot 
No. 48 in the Village of Jacksonboro, along 
with three acres of land in Pon Pon for 361 
currency. 2 After his establishment there Cul- 
liatt purchased additional property from time 
to time. 

His will, which was probated on September 
13, 1768, leaves land and buildings at Jackson- 
boro to his wife and his five children, Mary, 
John, James, Margaret, and William. 3 Adam 
Culliatt and Mary Campbell were married on 
July 16, 1751. 4 

Richard Cyrus 


Richard Cyrus appears only in the directory 
of 1809, where he is named as a cabinet-maker 
at No. 29 King Street This one item consti- 
tutes all that is known of him. 

Robert Deans 


Robert Deans, joiner from Scotland, adver- 
tised for the first time in the South Carolina 
Gazette for January 22, 1750, stating that "all 
kinds of cabinet and joiners work are done 
after the best manner, and at as low rates as 
any where in town ... for ready money or 
country produce." It is thought that Deans 


gave up cabinet-making for house building, 
for in 1756 when he was admitted to Union 
Kilwinning Lodge (Masonic) he was spoken 
of as an architect. Three years later Deans be- 
came a member of the St. Andrews Society. 


About 1758 Deans along with Benjamin 
Baker submitted, unsuccessfully, a bid to the 
Commissioners "for undertaking & furnishing 
the whole inside and the west front" of St. 
Michael's Church, which was then being 
built. It was specified that the inside of the 
Church was "to be of Cedar and we finding 
Timber turning & carving." l The next year 
Deans gave a mortgage to John Remington, 
at which time Deans was spoken of as a car- 
penter. 2 

We hear nothing further of Dean's activi- 
ties until 1764 when he sold parts of lots Nos. 
119 and 120 to James Skinting. 3 Here again 
Deans is spoken of as a carpenter. In the same 
year Deans gave Alexander Petrie, a silver- 
smith, his power of attorney, because he was 
"about to depart from the Province of South 
Carolina for some time." * 

With the return of peace after the Revolu- 
tion, the heirs of Robert Dean (sic) submitted 
a claim to regain some "Confiscated Estates 
belonging to British Subjects lying and being 
in the State of So. Carolina." 5 It is not known 
whether Deans ever returned to Charleston 
nor is it known when he died. 

John Francis Delome 

WORKING 1791-C.1819 

Were it not for the fact that John Francis 
Deloime states specifically that he has for 
sale, "some furniture, made by himself in the 
newest taste," * he would not be included in 
this work, for he was primarily an up- 

Before he came to Charleston Delorme lived 
in Philadelphia. 2 His first advertisement in 
Charleston appeared in the City Gazette ml 
Daly Advertiser of October 19, 1791; he 
there speaks of himself as an upholsterer from 
Paris and "Informs the public in general, that 
he makes bed and window curtains, either 
after the French or English fashion," at a 
time when the prevailing style was French. 

In 1793, when Delorme took out his citizen- 

ship papers he declared that he was a native 
of France. 3 During the years which followed 
he seems to have prospered, for he made 
frequent purchases of real estate. 

Delorme occasionally imported furniture 
from Paris and at one time in his career 
"engaged several of the best hands in the 
Cabinet-Makers Line: any orders for any kind 
of Furniture, shall be neatly and punctually 
executed." 4 As late as 1819 Delorme was still 
advertising as an upholsterer. 5 


Cbxrles Desel 

WORKING c. 1777-1807 

Charles Desel, who was of German descent, 
must have come to Charleston before the 
Revolution, for on April 11, 1777, he pur- 
chased from John Fyfe, another cabinet- 
maker, a house and lot on Colleton Square. 1 
There is no further record of him until 
October 14, 1783, when he bought a lot on 
Church Street from Godfrey Pringle for 
110 Sterling "now the lawful money of 
South Carolina." 2 

Desel seems to have done no advertising in 
the newspapers. Either he was so well estab- 
lished that he did not think it necessary or he 
worked for some one else. His name appears 
twice in the directory for 1790, once at No. 
15 Maiden Lane, the other at No. 44 Church 
Street. Presumably, the latter location was his 
shop, in all probability located on the lot he 
had purchased from Pringle. 

His name appears in the 1801 directory 
through the 1807 directory as being a cabinet- 
maker at No. 50 Broad Street During the 
period Desel purchased several pieces of 
property, indicating that he must have been a 
success as a cabinet-maker. 

Desel died on October 24, 1807, at the age 
of fifty-eight and was buried in the St John's 
Lutheran graveyard. 3 He bequeathed his house 
and lot on the comer of King and Broad 
Streets to his wife Mary Barbara, together 
with eight slaves and other property. His will 
mentions his five children, Ann Mary, Samuel, 
frfo^ Mary Barbara, and Charles Lewis.* In 
his inventory is listed "a lot of Cedar and Ma- 
hogany Boards in the Cellar." The total 


amount of his estate was appraised at nearly 
fifteen thousand dollars. 5 

Desel worked in Charleston during a period 
when styles in furniture were undergoing a 
great change. In all probability the Hepple- 
white style did not manifest itself in any 
great degree in Charleston until after the 
Revolution. It is interesting to conjecture how 
Desel, with his German background, adapted 
his probably heavy style of workmanship to 
requirements of the lighter and more delicate 

Samuel Desel 


WORKING -1813 

Samuel Desel, the son of Charles Desel, fol- 
lowed in his father's footsteps. In the 1813 
directory (six years after the death of Charles 
Desel) a Charles Desel is listed as a cabinet- 
maker at No. 53 Broad Street. Presumably 
this is an error; the name should have been 
Samuel. In the same year Samuel Desel, Exec- 
utor of Charles Desel, sold to Charles L. 
Desel (his brother) a lot with a three-story 
brick building situated on the east side of 
King Street for $3200. 1 In a later directory 
Charles L Desel is listed as a physician. 2 

Samuel DesePs will, dated September 30, 
1814, directs "that my tools, furniture of 
every Kind; Boards, Benches and so forth be 
sold by my executors at their discretion." 
Samuel also mentions his brother Charles 
Lewis Desel who is to get his share of his 
estate when he reaches the age of twenty- 
one. 3 The will was probated November 30, 

On January 3, 1815, the following notice 
appeared in the City Gazette and Commercial 
Advertiser: "Will be sold Mahogany Boards 
and Slabs, Cedar Boards, with Benches, Cabi- 
net Makers Tools . . . Finished and un- 
finished Furniture being the property of Mr. 
Samuel Desel, deceased." 

Lewis Disher 


WORKING 1809^? 

Though Disher's name appears only in the 
1809 directory, it is thought that he worked 


in Charleston for many years. At one time his 
shop was located on the east side of King 
Street between Columbus and Line Streets. 
The fact that the area was then outside the 
city limits may explain why Disher's name 
does not appear in subsequent directories. 

The Health Department Records reveal that 
Disher died in July, 1835, at the age of fifty- 
one. The Records state that he was born in 
Charleston, died of inflammation of the brain, 
and was buried in the Trinity Church bury- 
ing ground. Family tradition, however, says 
that Disher was born in England and came to 
this country as a young boy. We are indebted 
to his great-grandson, Lewis Disher, for this 

John Dobbins 

WORKING 1768- 

In 1768 John Dobbins purchased from 
Thomas Mills, another cabinet-maker, the 1/5 
part of the estate of Timothy Bread, ship 
carpenter, for 63.* In the same year Dobbins 
advertised in the South Carolina Gazette of 
August 12, 1768, that he "intended to depart 
the province for some time." Just when he left 
Charleston is not known. However, two years 
later the following advertisement appeared in 
the South Carolina Gazette; And Country 
Journal of November 27, 1770: "John Dob- 
bins. The subscriber, departing the Province 
in the Spring, will sell, by public vendue, . , , 
a neat assortment of Cabinet Work, consisting 
of Chairs and Tables of all kinds, Chinese 
Tables, carved & plain mahogany bedsteads, 
neat double and half chests of drawers; French 
chairs; brass nailed ditto; ... He returns 
thanks to all his friends for their past favors, 
and hopes for a continuance of them to John 
Forthet, who carries the business on in the 
same shop." 

Nothing more is heard of Dobbins for many 
years, until September, 1789, when he married 
Ann Pots. 2 Again he "departed the province," 
for on October 17, 1792, John Dobbins "late 
of the Gty of Charleston in the Province of 
South Carolina in America, but now of Lon- 
don in England, Cabinet Maker, appoints wife 
Ann now living in Charleston his attorney 
with power to dispose of his lot in Charleston 

and his plantation." 3 It is interesting to note 
that even at so late a time the British still 
spoke of South Carolina as a Province. 

Two years later John Dobbins and Ann 
his wife sold 350 acres in St. Thomas' Parish 
to Elias Smerdon. 4 Whether John had re- 
turned to Charleston by that time or the sale 
was made by Ann, using his power of attor- 
ney, is not clear. His will does not appear in 
the records of the Probate Court, so in all 
probability he spent the remainder of his life 
in London. 


James Douglas 

James Douglas was primarily a turner and 
undoubtedly did work for cabinet-makers. 
He is listed as a turner in the directories from 
1802 through 1809. However, in the 1816 
directory James Douglas is listed as a cabinet- 
maker. Either this is an error or Douglas in 
later years branched out into cabinet-making. 

His will is dated May 1, 1815, and was pro- 
bated on August 1, 1816, presumably shortly 
after his death. 


John Douglas 

WORKING 1799-c. 1805 

Even as a young man, John Douglas must 
have been a very successful cabinet-maker, 
for in 1799 he purchased from Richard Dennis 
a lot on the east side of Meeting Street for 
650 Guineas, 1 a considerable sum of money 
for those days. His name appears in the 1801 
directory as a cabinet-maker at No. 138 
Meeting Street. When Douglas took out his 
citizenship papers in 1802, he declared that he 
was twenty-nine years old, a native of Edin- 
burgh, Scotland, and by profession a cabinet- 
maker.* In the next year Douglas purchased 
another piece of property, again on Meeting 
Street but on the west side. 5 

Douglas must have died in 1805; on October 
25 of that year Letters of Administration In- 
testate were granted to James Douglas, turner, 
to administer the estate of John Doughs, 4 His 
inventory made on December 31, 1805, feted 
five sideboards valued at $250; two secretaries 

appraised at $90; and a quantity of mahogany, 
cedar, and pine. 5 The pine was probably used 
for the structural members and drawer linings 
of his sideboards. 

Jams Duddell 

WORKING c. 1801-c. 1806 

James Duddell appears for the first time in 
the 1801 directory as dwelling at No. 251 
Meeting Street The following year he is 
shown as being at No. 209 Meeting Street 

In 1803 Duddell was one of the appraisers 
of the estate of Maiy Ann dark. 1 His name 
appears for the last time fa the 1806 directory 
as a cabinet-maker but without an address. 
After that date there are no further records 
of him. 

Lewis Duval 



Though Lewis Duval is spoken of as a 
planter by one of his executors, the articles 
listed in his inventory indicate that at some 
time during his life Duval made furniture. The 
inventory of his estate includes 2 number of 
saws, hammers, axes, and squares, in addition 
to an entry of sixty-one old and new chisels 
and eleven hollow and round planes. 1 It is 
unlikely that a carpenter, at that time, would 
have had such an array of took. 

DuvaTs wiH is dated June 9, 1724; it was 
probated in the following month. In it he 
mentions his daughters, Ann, iMartha, and 
Susanna. 2 


Joshua Eden 

WORKING 1767-1801 

Joshua, son of James and Jane Eden, was 
born on September 14, 1731. 1 Eden was a 
turner and chairmaker, but there is nothing 
to indicate under whom he learned his trade. 
He advertised for the first time on January 
19, 1767, in die South Carolina. Gazette, stat- 
ing that he did turning "in its several 
branches, such as banisters, column bedposts, 
table frames. ... h the meantime he con- 


tinues to make straw bottom chairs; which he 
will sell very reasonable." 

No further information concerning Eden 
appears until 1775, when a lot of things hap- 
pened to him. In February of that year 
Thomas Robinson was charged with assault 
on Joshua Eden, and it was ordered that the 
Petit Jury be charged with the issue. The 
accounts fail to indicate how the altercation 
ended, but in May of the same year Eden 
himself became a member of the Petit Jury. 2 
In August he is listed as a member of Capt 
Charles Drayton's Volunteer Company. 3 On 
November 7, 1775, he advertised in the South 
Carolina Gazette stating that he has for sale, 
"some extraordinary good Spinning-Wheels 
... also for sale some very good straw bot- 
tom Chairs." 

Then Eden disappears from the records for 
fifteen years, until tie directory of 1790 names 
him as a turner at No. 15 Beresford Alley. In 
1791 he was one of the sureties for the estate 
of Joseph Whilden, Sr. 4 The directory of 
1801 shows that he had moved to Church 
Street and lists him as a chairmaker. Eden 
died on March 26, 1802, in the seventy-first 
year of his age. 5 In his will he leaves to 
William, "a negro man I emancipated," all of 
his working tools and wearing apparel 6 His 
inventory reveals that his estate amounted to 
only a little over eleven hundred dollars. 7 


John Godfrey Ehrenpford 

WORKING c. 1809-1813 

John Godfrey Ehrenpford was living in 
Charleston by 1809; the directory of that year 
lists him as a cabinet-maker at No. 28 Meeting 
Street. Three years later, when he took out 
his citizenship papers, he announced that he 
was twenty-six years of age, a cabinet-maker 
by profession, and a native of Oldenburg in 
Germany. 1 The 1813 directory shows him as 
being at No. 27 Broad Street After that all 
trace of him is lost. He may have moved to 
some other locality. 

Thorns Elfe 
1719-1775 WORKING c. 1747-1775 

It is a matter of record that on November 

28, 1775, died Thomas Elfe, Charleston 
cabinet-maker, in the fifty-sixth year of his 
age. 1 He must have been born, therefore, 
about 1719, and since family tradition says he 
came from London, it is a fair assumption that 
London was the place of his birth. Nothing, in 
fact, is known of his early years, but if it may 
be supposed that, like so many other crafts- 
men of the period, Elfe came to South Caro- 
lina after he had reached maturity, it is likely 
that he served his apprenticeship in England. 
The excellence of the workmanship in the 
pieces of furniture now attributed to Elfe 
argues that he received his early training 
under an excellent master. 

Elfe was twenty-eight years old before his 
name appears in any Charleston records. On 
September 28, 1747, the following advertise- 
ment appeared in the South Carolina Gazette: 
"To be Raffled for, On Tuesday the 6th of 
October in the Evening, at the House of Mr. 
Thomas Blyth in Broad-street a pair of large 
Gilt Sconces, valued at 150 Currency. The 
said Sconces and the Conditions of the Raffle 
may be seen at Mr. Thomas Elfe's Cabinet- 
maker, near Doct Martini's." In the same 
year Elfe purchased a negro woman named 
Rinah, together with her three children, for 
500 current money from one Jemmitt 
Cobley. 2 A financial transaction of such pro- 
portions argues that Elfe was by that time 
well established in Charleston. Rinah, it may 
be noted, was not a very satisfactory invest- 
ment; she ran away and Elfe was forced to 
advertise for her in the Gazette of August 15 T 
1748. Shortly after her apprehension and re- 
turn Elfe sold her and her children to John 
Dobell for 550 (September 20), thereby 
making a neat profit. 3 

Still further evidence of Elfe's prosperity 
appears in the fact that on October 3, 1748, 
Elfe was advertising in the South Carolina 
Gazette that he had "A very good House in 
Tradd-street near the Printing-Office, to be 
lett ..." A few months before, he had mar- 
ried Mary Hancock, a widow; but the year 
ended tragically for Elfe with the death of 
his wife, whose burial is recorded on Novem- 
ber 19.* Elfe remained a widower until 1755, 
when, on December 29, he married Rachel 

Prideau. 5 By this second marriage he had 
several children. 

The newspaper notices of the 1748-49 
period yield a few other details of less im- 
portance concerning Elfe's life. In 1748, for 
example, John Lewis, a shoemaker from 
London (possibly an acquaintance of Elfe 
from the London years) advertised that he 

w ' 

was "at Mr. Thomas Elfe's Cabinet-maker, 
who lives at the Comer opposite Mr. Ey- 
cotts . . ." In April of the following year 
Elfe purchased from John Brodie, Practitioner 
of Physick, a mulatto boy named Jemmy for 
300 current money. 6 

As a maker of furniture Elfe did very little 
advertising. It is possible that he had become 
so well established that he did not think such 
advertising necessary. The longest advertise- 
ment which he published during his career 
as a craftsman appeared in the South Carolina 
Gazette of January 7, 1751. It deserves full 
quotation for what it reveals concerning the 
nature and extent of Elfe's business at this 
time: "Thomas Elfe, Cabinet-Maker, having 
now a very good upholsterer from London, 
does all kinds of upholsterer's work, in the 
best and newest manner, and at the most 
reasonable rates, viz: tapestry, damask, stuff, 
chints, or paper hangings for rooms; beds 
after the newest fashion, and so they may be 
taken off to be washed without inconvenience 
or damage; all sorts of festoons and window 
curtains to draw up, and pully rod curtains; 
chairs stuff covered, tight or loose cases for 
ditto; All kinds of Machine Chairs are like- 
wise made, stuffed and covered for sickly or 
weak people, and all sorts of cabinet work 
done in the best manner, by the said Thomas 

The next four years are a complete blank 
in Elfe's biography. His name does not appear 
again until 1755, when he was one of the 
witnesses for Andrew Rutledg[e, one of 
Charleston's eminent lawyers. 7 By the next 
year Elfe seems to have formed a business 
association with Thomas Hutchinsou, who 
was also a cabinet-maker. Working together, 
they made some of the balusters for the 
steeple of St. Michael's Church, then in the 
course of construction. As late as 1761 they 
submitted a bill to the same church for some 

interior woodwork they had produced. 8 At a 
vestry meeting held on March 7, 1763, the 
Church Wardens of St Michael's were di- 
rected to employ Elfe and Hutchinson for the 
making of a "Mahogany Communion Table 
in such Demensions (sic) as will fit the Velvet 
Covering to be ready against Easter Sunday." 
The two cabinet-makers appear also as as- 
sociated in die making of the chairs and tables 
for die Council Chamber. On May 19, 1758, 
the Council passed an act under "Extra- 
ordinary Charges" for the sum of 728.02.06 
to pay for that work.* That the association of 

Elfe and Hutchinson may have been in the 

nature of a partnership is suggested by the 
fact that on August 9, 1756, they together 
purchased from Robert Listen, another 
cabinet-maker, a negro boy named Mingo for 
157 current money. 10 There is nothing to 
indicate when Elfe and Hutchinson terminated 
their professional association, but they appear 
to have remained good friends. Hutchinson 
was the godfather of Thomas Elfe, Jr., and 
Elfe chose Hutchinson as one of the executors 
of his will 

All the records dealing with Thomas Elfe as 
a craftsman indicate that he had risen high in 
the estimation of his contemporaries. At the 
same time, he was accumulating wealth. In 
1760 he found himself in a position to pur- 
chase a pew in St. Michael's Church; 11 and 
on April 27, 1765, he was elected a warden of 
the St George's Society. 12 From this period 
to the end of his life there are frequent notices 
of his dealings in property and slaves. One 
notable transaction was his purchase from 
Mary Bryan, widow, on April 17, 1758, of 
two lots (Nos. 181 and 198) on the east side 
of Friend [Legare] Street and on the south 
side of Broad Street, for 575 "lawful current 
money of the province." 13 Apparendy he 
built two tenements on these lots, for in his 
will he bequeathed one tenement to his daugh- 
ter Hannah, the other to his son George. 
Again, on June 9, 1763, Elfe sold to Richard 
Hart, a chairmaker, part of Lot No. 250, 
situated on the north side of Queen Street 1 * 
The amount involved in this transaction is not 
given. From Benjamin Guerard, Elfe pur- 
chased, in 1765, half of Lot No. 243 for 1000 
currency and 172 acres of land on what is 


now Daniel's Island for 500. 15 These and 
similar transactions later on reveal Elf e to have 
been a steady dealer in real estate, with an eye 
for good investments. At the time of his death 
he was, by the standards of the province, a 
wealthy man. 

From time to time also Elfe made purcnases 
of slaves. It is impossible to conjecture what 
degree of success he had in such ventures. 
The newspaper notices give emphasis to his 
difficulties rather than to his successes. On 
April 26, 1760, for example, Elfe was forced 
to advertise in the South Carolina Gazette for 
a runaway named Bob, formerly the property 
of Luke Stoutenburgh. Then there was the 
unfortunate affair of Cato, one of Elfe's 
slaves who was charged with having "fe- 
loniously & Burglariously, broke open the 
dwelling House of Lachlin Mackintosh 
Esquire & stealing therefrom, sundry sums of 
money . . ," Cato was tried before two Jus- 
tices and four free holders, found guilty, and 
sentenced "to be hanged by the Neck until 
his Body should be dead." Elfe interceded on 
his behalf, arguing "that the Said Cato is a 
very young man & that it was chiefly from 
his own Confession, that he was convicted of 
the said Crime & therefore hath humbly be- 
sought & hath also undertaken & promised 
that the said Negro Cato, shall be transported 
& Shipped from off the Limits of our Prov- 
ince, never to return therein again that Mercy 
may be extended to him." Elfe's eloquence so 
moved the court that it was decided to "Par- 
don Remit & Release the said Cato, as well the 
felony aforesaid, Whereas he was tried & 
Convicted as also the Punishments, he be- 
came liable to by Reason of the same. Pro- 
vided always & upon this expressed Condition 
that the said Cato do & shall within three 
Calendar Months from the Date hereof trans- 
port himself from this Province." If Cato ever 
returned the pardon was to become void. The 
degree was signed on June 18, 1771, by 
William Bull, Lieutenant-Governor. 16 

Elfe took apprentices as a matter of course. 
The kind of problems which the conscientious 
master was sometimes called upon to solve 
may be inferred from an item on January 19, 
1770, reporting that Elfe entered a complaint 
to the Grand Jury against 'Daniel Caine, liv- 

ing behind the Beef Market, for keeping a 
disorderly tipling and Gaming House; where 
apprentices and other youth are entertained 
and debauched." 17 Unfortunately, the story- 
is incomplete: there is nothing to indicate 
whether Elfe succeeded in having the house 

It is difficult to derive any very clear in- 
formation about Elfe's contacts with his 
fellow-craftsmen in Charleston. The records 
are sparse. Mention has already been made of 
his association with Thomas Hutchinson, the 
cabinet-maker. It appears also that toward the 
end of his life Elfe entered, for a short time, 
into partnership with John Fisher, but the 
fact must be deduced from the notice of the 
dissolution of the partnership, published in 
the South Carolina and American General 
Gazette of May 27, 1771: "The co-partnership 
of Elfe and Fisher being dissolved some time, 
and all debts due to them assigned over unto 
Thomas Elfe, he hopes all indebted to them 
will pay off the same or settle as soon as pos- 
sible. I am much obliged to all Friends for 
their Favours, and hope for a continuance of 
them, as I shall carry on the Business of 
Cabinet-and-Chair-Making as usual, at my old 
Shop in Broad-street, and am their humble 
servant, Thomas Elfe." Fisher seems to have 
been a newcomer to Charleston. It is probable 
that he inserted the following announcement 
in the South Carolina Gazette; And Country 
Journal (May 5, 1767) shortly after his ar- 
rival: "John Fisher, Cabinet-Maker from 
London, Takes this method to acquaint the 
Publick, That he has taken part of the House 
in Tradd-street, where Mr. Wise formerly 
lived, and intends carrying on the Cabinet 
Business in all its branches. Those Gentlemen 
and Ladies who please to favour him with their 
commands, may depend upon having their 
orders well executed, and on the shortest 
notice. N. B. Venetian Window Blinds made 
as in London." Elfe's contact with W. Russell, 
"Upholsterer, Lately arrived from London," 
appears to have been only transient Russell 
announced himself in the South Carolina 
Gazette, November 9, 1773, as humbly tak- 
ing "the Liberty of informing the Ladies and 
Gentlemen, and the Public in General, That 
he has taken apartments at Mr. Elf e's, Cabinet- 



Fig. 61 CABINET Height 8'5i/ 2 " 

Fig. 68 CABINET Height 61 K' 

Height 16|/ 4 " 
Dw/ inscribed: 
Hirnley, Charletown (sic) 


Height W' 

Dial inscribed: 

Joshua. Lockwood, Charles town 


Height 8'3 3 / 4 " 
Dial inscribed: 
Joshua Lockizood, Charles town 


Height 29/2"; diameter 25X"x 18 X" 

Height 26 1 //'; diameter 19'/g" 

Height 24'/:"; diameter 24!'i" 


Height 28'/ 2 "; width 32"; depth 21'/ 2 " 


Cedar, Cypress, and Long-lea^ Pine 

Height 26%"; width 36"; depth 23 %" 

Height 2954"; width (open) 58/g"; 
depth 47%" 


Thought to be the earliest piece of 
Charleston furniture 
Height 29%"; width (open) 67 K"; 
depth 52 K" 

Height 27 7 / 8 "; width (open) 5314"; depth 42 

Fig. 80 DINING TABLE ,,..,, 

Height 28"; width (open) 50>/ 8 "; depth 42 - : , ; 

Fig. 81 DETAIL OF 
FOOT (see Fig. SO) 

Height 27%"] width (open) 57'/i"; depth 46 1 /:" 




> *J 

00 pfi 

Maker, in Broad-Street until he can con- 
veniently suit himself with a house proper for 
his purposes. Influenced by his Acquaintances 
and Friends, he solicits the Favours of the 
Public, and hopes for their kind Indulgence 
and countenance . . ." 

Elfe's will is dated July 7, 1775, a few 
months before his death. 18 To his wife, Rachel, 
he left interest in the plantation on Daniel's 
Island, together with its slaves, cattle, planta- 
tion tools, and household furniture. Rachel 
also received a town lot on Broad Street with 
wo tenements on it At her death the prop- 
erty was to go to four of his children, 
Hannah, Thomas, George, and Benjamin. To 
his son Willam, Elfe left the plantation in 
Amelia Township "upon which he resides," 
eight Negroes, and 1000 currency. To each 
of the other children Elfe left a Town House 
and 1000 currency. To Thomas, the only 
one of his sons who was a cabinet-maker, he 
left in addition "three negro fellows brought 
up to my Business named Joe, Jack and Paul 
together with all the working tools and 
benches.* 7 Elfe named his wife, Rachel, execu- 
trix, and his friends, Thomas Hutchinson and 
Benjamin Baker, executors of his will. 

The inventory is a long one and reveals 
that Thomas Elfe was a man of substantial 
wealth. 19 It shows that Elfe possessed two 
'Double Chests of Drawers," one of which 
had a "Desk Drawer," the latter appraised at 
100; four bedsteads with "Eagle daws"; 
two "Desk & Bookcase[s]," one valued at 
130; a Harpsichord valued at 500; several 
dozen chairs; a "Parcel Brass furniture, locks, 
screws, hinges," etc., appraised at 1000; one 
"Horse Flesh * Table"; and quantities of furni- 
ture, some of which was in the process of 
construction. There were thirty-six slaves 
listed in the inventory, and the silver was ap- 
praised at 622. 

The inventory also shows the amount and 
kinds of woods used by Elfe in making his 

17 Mahogany Logs 680 

200 feet of Mahogany Boards 300 
a parcel of mahogany about 10 M 
feet 1000 

* Mahogany from die 

about 2 M feet Cypress & plank 60 

17 Poplar Plank 9 

a parcel Ash Plank 15 

a parcel Mahogany in boards 300 

a parcel Cedar in ditto 9 

Fortunately for students of Charleston 
furniture one of Thomas Elfe's account books 
has survived. It is an interesting document, 
now in the archives of the Charleston Library 
Society. It covers an eight-year period from 
1768 to 1775, the economic peak of pre- 
Revolutionary Charleston. It is much more 
than an ordinary account book. It gives not 
only a detailed description of the various 
kinds of furniture which Elfe made and the 
price he charged for it: It lists also the names 
of his customers, and furnishes incontrovert- 
ible evidence that Elfe, during this period at 
least, supplied furniture of some kind to nearly 
every outstanding family in Charleston. 

The account book also shows the monies 
due him from various people, many of whom 
were cabinet-makers. It gives the amount and 
cost of the various kinds of woods Elfe pur- 
chased for use in his shop. It sometimes gives 
little intimate pictures of Elfe, as when he 
repaired a bird cage and made a squirrel 
house, probably for a child of one of his 
patrons. Elfe, it may also be noted, was too 
good a business man not to charge for even 
this small service. Entries in the book show 
the amount Elfe charged for sending one of 
his workmen to take down or put up a four- 
posted bed or to make a minor repair to a 
piece of furniture. However, Elfe's scrupu- 
lous attention to charges, large and small, was 
matched by his generosity; one entry at least, 
shows that he gave away 50 at Christmas. 

The account book, written in sach a care- 
ful hand and kept in such detail, must have 
been only one of several; Elfe constantly 
makes reference to "Ledger A." It is an in- 
valuable document and one of the few such 
records on cabinet-making extant in America. 

Elfe made the following pieces of furniture 
during die eight-year period covered by his 
account book: 

Mahogany Bedsteads 
Poplar Bedsteads 
Double Chests of Drawers 



Half-Drawers and Dressing Drawers 51 
Mahogany Desks 22 

Qothespresses 7 

Side Chairs 643 

Easy Chairs 9 

French Chairs 9 

Miscellaneous Chairs 14 

Card Tables 39 

Tea Tables 52 

Slab and Side Board Tables 41 

Breakfast Tables 36 

Dining Tables 132 

Miscellaneous style Tables 70 

Large articles consisting of Library 
Bookcases; Desk and Bookcases 
with glass doors; Sofas; Couches; 
and dock Cases 26 

Small articles consisting of Fire 
Screens; "Bason Stands;" Bottle 
Boards; Tea Trays; Mahogany 
Brick Moulds; Mahogany Picture 
Frames; Candle Stands; etc. Ap- 
proximately 200 


In addition to his apprentices, Elfe had the 
assistance of several handicraft slaves; of 
these the account book lists four sawyers, 
valued at 1400, and five joiners and cabinet- 
makers, valued at 2250. Occasionally Elfe 
employed other independent cabinet-makers 
to assist him. Nevertheless, Elfe must himself 
have been a prodigious worker to have turned 
out so much furniture during an eight-year 
period. Though it is probably true that at this 
particular time Elfe was at the height of his 
productivity, it must not be forgotten that he 
worked in Charleston for over twenty years 
prior to the period covered by the account 
book. The total amount of furniture that 
came from Elfe's workshop must have been 
fantastic. Undoubtedly many pieces of furni- 
ture made by Elfe have survived and are now 
scattered throughout the country. It is hoped 
that in time they will be recognized and at- 
tributed to their rightful maker. 

Thus far not a single piece of furniture 
with an Elfe label has been found. Elfe, who 
was trained in London, was probably follow- 
ing the English custom of omitting labels. 

Even if he had pasted labels on his work, it 
is doubtful that they would have survived 
Charleston's humid summers and glue-eating 

It is logical to ask, then, how one may 
recognize a piece of furniture made by Elfe. 
First, it is positively known that Elfe made 
large quantities of furniture, a fact which in- 
creases the possibilities of finding authentic 
Elfe pieces. Again, a few pieces have been 
traced through families. Finally, certain char- 
acteristics to be found in several large pieces 
of furniture now in Charleston or definitely 
known to have come from Charleston clearly 
indicate that the pieces were made by the 
same craftsman. 

The furniture attributed to Elfe has these 
outstanding characteristics: The fret, as 
shown in the line drawing, is found on many 
of these pieces and is usually applied. Though 
it cannot be said that Elfe was the designer of 
the fret which he commonly used, his con- 
sistent use of it made it virtually his, and its 
occurrence on any piece of Charleston furni- 
ture suggests Elfe's hand almost to the ex- 
clusion of that of any other craftsman. It 
was used on desk and bookcases, library 
bookcases, and many double chests of drawers 
still to be found in Charleston. Elfe made an 
extra charge for a fret to go on a double 
chest of drawers. 

This same style fret, as shown in the line 
drawing, is found on the over-mantel of the 
Regard-Washington House, a branch of 
the Charleston Museum. It is made of ma- 
hogany. Elfe's account book shows that he 
made frets for chimney pieces at a cost of 

The style foot as shown in the line drawing 
is found on double chests of drawers, as well 
as on desk and bookcases. While there is 
nothing particularly remarkable about it, the 
foot is well-proportioned and generally pleas- 

The interior construction of the large 
drawers in these pieces is unusual. The thing 
first to be noticed is a cross member running 
from front to rear in the center of the large 
drawers. This member is usually one and 
three-quarter inches in width, grooved on both 


sides for its entire length, and dove-tailed into 
the front of the drawer. The sides of the 
drawer are also grooved and the drawer bot- 
toms, which are slightly tapered on both ends, 
are inserted from the rear and nailed in place. 

The wood used in the construction of the 
drawers, both sides and bottoms, is cypress 
(Taxodhm distichum). Upon first examina- 
tion, many of the bottom boards appear to 
run the length of the drawer, but close 
scrutiny reveals that the board is grooved into 
the cross members. In many cases, the two 
boards were cut from the same piece of 
wood, thereby giving the illusion of a single 
board continued across the entire width. Elfe's 
account book reveals that he made frequent 
purchases of cypress in large quantities. 

Another feature of the drawer construction 
is the manner in which the beading is handled. 
Other cabinet-makers often attached a thin 
strip of mahogany slightly wider than the 
drawer-facing to the outside of the four sides 
of the facing so that the beading projects. 
Usually in Elf e's method the four sides of the 
drawer-facing have been rabbeted out by five- 
sixteenths of an inch and a mahogany strip 
inserted. This piece makes the beading, which 
is kept in place by both glue and nails. 

The bottom of many of the pieces attrib- 
uted to Elf e are constructed with a small cove, 
a small fillet, a taurus, and a square base. 

In the foregoing account, the point has 
been emphasized that Thomas Elfe's account 
book covers only the eight-year period from 
1768 to 1775. Those were the closing years of 
his life and probably represent the point of 
his greatest productivity. Yet before 1768 
Elf e had lived and worked in Charleston for 
not less than twenty-one years. Even if it be 
assumed that Elfe spent many of his early 
years in getting himself established as a 
cabinet-maker, it may also be assumed, by the 
most conservative estimate, that during the 
twenty-one year period for which there are 
no extant account books, he turned out as 
much work as he did in the shorter period for 
which the record is complete. In short, Elfe's 
total output must have been not less than 
three thousand pieces of furniture. It was 
probably much greater than that 

Thomas Elfe, Jr. 
175W825 WORKING c. 1778- 

Thomas Elfe, Jr. was the only son of 
Thomas Elfe, Sr. to adopt the trade of his 
father, under whom he undoubtedly learned 
it. At the death of his father, Thomas in- 
herited three Negroes who had been brought 
up in the business, together with his father's 
working tools, benches, and other property. 1 

In 1778 Thomas married Mary Padgett. 2 
During the occupation of Charleston by the 
British, he was one of the petitioners to Sir 
Henry Clinton, requesting that he be returned 
to the status of a British subject. When peace 
was declared, Thomas, along with many 
others, was ordered banished and his property 
confiscated. As it turned out, he was not ban- 
ished but his property was amerced 12%. 8 

Probably feeling that he would be in a more 
friendly atmosphere Thomas had moved to 
Savannah by 1784; on May 1 1 of that year he 
sold a lot on the east side of King Street for 
870 Sterling,* at that time stating that he was 
formerly of South Carolina but was now of 
Savannah. During the following year he sold 
another piece of property, and in 1786 he sold 
the property situated on Friend [Legare] 
Street which he inherited from his godfather, 
Thomas Hutchinson. 5 

Ultimately he returned to Charleston. In the 
1801 directory a Thomas Elfe is listed as a 
cabinet-maker at No. 2 West Street The fol- 
lowing year he is listed as a carpenter at No. 
17 Wentworth Street and in all subsequent 
directories he is spoken of as a carpenter. In 
1807 Thomas Elfe was secretary of the Car- 
penters Society.* Nothing more is known of 
his activities. He died on November 12, 1825, 
at the age of 66 and is buried in St. Paul's 
[Episcopal] Church yard. 

Elf e and Fisher 


It is not known when the copartnership of 
Thomas Elfe [Sr.] and John Fisher (q.v.) 
was formed. Since Fisher was advertising 
independently in 1767 the partnership must 
have been entered into after that date. It was 
dissolved by 1771. On May 27 of that year 


Elfe inserted an advertisement in the South 
Carolina md American General Gazette ex- 
plaining that "the co-partnership of Elfe and 
Fisher being dissolved some time, and all debts 
due to them assigned over unto Thomas Elfe, 
he hopes all indebted to them will pay off the 
same or settle as soon as possible." 

Elf e and Hutchinson 

For many years Thomas Elfe [Sr.] and 
Thomas Hutchinson (q.v.) worked together 
in some kind of business association* Whether 
it was a copartnership is not clear. In 1758 
they were paid 728 by the Council for mak- 
ing the chairs and tables for the Council 
Chamber. Two years later they were making 
the interior woodwork for St Michael's 
Church, which was then being built As late 
as 1763 Elfe and Hutchinson were directed 
by the Church Wardens of St. Michael's to 
build the communion table. Elfe and Hutchin- 
son terminated their business association at a 
date unknown, but they remained good 
friends. Hutchinson was the godfather of 
Thomas Elfe, Jr., and was one of the executors 
of the Elfe estate. 

Probate Court nor do the records of the 
Register of Mesne Conveyance provide any 
evidence that he owned any property. 


Robert Fairchild 

WORKING c. 1750-c. 1775 

Robert, the son of Thomas Fairchild and 
Elizabeth his wife, was born on November 
10, 1729. 1 It is not known under whom he 
learned his trade. He was married by 1750 for 
we find that at that time James Taylor con- 
veyed some property on James Island to his 
daughter, "wife of Robert Fairchild, cabinet- 
maker and joiner of James Island." 2 James 
Island lies across the harbor from Charleston. 

After the death of his first wife, Fairchild 
on February 14, 1754, married Sarah Wigg. 
By this marriage he had a son and two daugh- 
ters. His wife Sarah died on September 20, 
1770. On March 19, 1772, Fairchild married, 
for the third time, Christiana McLoud. By 
this marriage there were two sons. 3 

There is reason to believe that at the time 
of the second marriage Fairchild moved to 
Beaufort, South Carolina, where he presum- 
ably worked until his death in 1775.* 

Matthew Ellis 

WORKING c. 1803-c. 1806 

Matthew Ellis, a little known cabinet- 
maker, probably worked for someone else. 
His name does not appear in the 1803 direc- 
tory, but on January 7 of that year he qualified 
as an administrator of the estate of William 
Ireland, silver-plate worker, and at that time 
he is spoken of as a cabinet-maker. 1 His name 
appears in the directory for 1806, without an 
address. Thereafter he completely disappears. 

Peter ETnarrett 

WORKING 1809-1811 

Only two facts concerning Peter Emarrett 
have survived. He is named for the first time 
in die 1809 directory as dwelling at No. 1 
Union [State] Street Two years later George 
Edwards, an orphan house boy, was bound to 
Emmerrett l (sic.). His will is not filed in the 


Hance Fairley 

WORKING 1799-1815 

When Hance Fairley took out his citizenship 
papers on March 4, 1799, 1 he stated that he 
was a native of County Antrim, Ireland. How- 
ever, there is nothing to indicate how long he 
had been in this country before applying for 
citizenship. Fairley is listed in the various di- 
rectories as a cabinet-maker on Meeting 
Street He seems to have been a man of small 
means; there is no record of his having pur- 
chased any property. He died in January 1815 
at the age of forty-four leaving his wife, 
Martha, and four young children. 2 


Mungo Finlayson 

WORKING 1768-1793 

Presumably Mungo Finlayson and Thomas 
Elfe, Sr., (q.v.) were friends. The first record 
that we have of Finlayson is dated January, 


1768, when he borrowed 60 from Elfe. Two 
months later Elfe again made a loan to him, 
this time for 200. It was not until three years 
later that Finlayson paid back 50 on his 
debt In January, 1774, Elfe paid Finlayson 
20 for some work that he had done' for 
him. 1 

Mary Ann Hartley and Mungo Finlayson 
were married on March 20, 1769.* Their son 
Mungo Graeme was baptized on August 25, 
1776. 8 

We have no information concerning Finlay- 
son during the Revolution. In fact, nothing 
more is heard of him until January, 1784, 
when he was granted letters of administration 
for the estate of Mary Wall, widow. 4 In the 
directory for 1790 he is listed as dwelling at 
No. 32 Queen Street. 

Finlayson died on November 29, 1793. 5 
According to the inventory his estate was 
valued at 302. a 

Mungo Graeme Finkyson 
-1799 WORKING 1795-1799 

Mungo Graeme Finlayson, the son of Mungo 
Finlayson, in all likelihood learned his trade 
under his father. In 1795 he formed a co- 
partnership with Hance Fairley (q.v.) The 
partnership was of short duration, for Mungo 
Graeme died a young man and was buried on 
June 26, 1799. 1 

Finlayson and Fmley 


In the South Carolina Gazette for February 
9, 1795, appeared the following advertise- 
ment: "The subscribers having entered into 
Copartnership under the firm of Finlayson & 
Fairley, Intend to carry on the Cabinet-iM aking 
Business in all its branches, and in die most 
fashionable and approved taste, the knowledge 
of which H. Fairley is perfectly acquainted 
with, being lately from London. Any order 
that they may be favoured with, will be exe- 
cuted on the most reasonable Terms, and at 
the same time in such a manner as they flatter 
themselves wfll give satisfaction to their em- 
ployers. The above business win be carried 

on at the shop formerly occupied by Mr. 
Mungo Finkyson, deceased, in Queen-street, 
where the upholsterer's business likewise be 
conducted by Mr. Henry Campbell, from 
Boston, who through this means offers his 
best services to the public in said line, with 
assurances of his best endeavours to merit their 

Both Fairley and Mungo Graeme were 
about twenty-four years old when they 
formed their copartnership. It was of short 
duration, however, for Finlayson died in 1799. 

John Fisher 

WORKING 1767-c. 1782 

The advertisement of John Fisher, cabinet- 
maker from London, in the South Carolina 
Gazette; And Country Journal of May 5, 1767, 
states that he "intends carrying on the Cabinet 
Business in all its branches" and that he will 
produce "Venetian Window Blinds made as 
in London." 

The will of Ezra Waite, drawn up on Oc- 
tober 12, 1769, leaves 50 currency to his 
friend John Fisher. 1 Waite was the builder of 
the famous Miles Brewton House and it is 
quite possible that Fisher helped him with 
some of the interior woodwork. 

It is not known when Fisher formed a co- 
partnership with Thomas Elfe, but by 1771 
the copartnership had been dissolved for 
Fisher advertised in the South Carolina & 
American General Gazette of June 3 of that 
year that he had "purchased of Mr. Stephen 
Townsend his Stock in Trade and Negroes 
brought up in the Business, which he now 
carries on at the House in Meeting-Street 
where Mr. Townsend formerly lived." 

In spite of the dissolution of their co- 
partnership, Elfe and Fisher remained on 
business terms; in May, 1773, Elfe paid Fisher 
40 shillings for cutting a frett (sic) and 30 
shillings for cutting a pediment board. That 
same year he had Fisher turn "2 Setts bed 
Posts." 1 

In 1774 John Fisher served on a jury that 
sentenced Isaac Reeves to death by hanging 
for the crime of horse stealing. The fact that 
it was Reeves's second offense probably ac- 


counts for the severity of the sentence. 3 There 
is nothing to indicate whether the sentence 
was carried out. 

Fisher apparently prospered. On April 13, 
1778, he purchased lot No. 39 on Tradd 
Street from John Wells, Jr., printer, and in 
1781 he purchased 893 acres of land in the 
Goose Creek section. 4 

After the capitulation of Charleston to the 
British, Fisher along with others petitioned 
General Clinton to be restored to the status 
of a British subject 5 With the evacuation of 
the British in December, 1782, Fisher left with 
the fleet. 6 His property was confiscated, and 
in 1783 at the sale of Confiscated Estates, 
James Fallan purchased a lot on the north 
side of Elliott Street with a three-story un- 
finished brick house formerly the property of 
John Fisher. 7 

Nothing is known of Fisher's later life or 
the time of his death. 

John Forthet 


The only information we have about John 
Forthet comes from a single advertisement in 
the South Carolina Gazette; And Country 
Journal for November 27, 1770: John Dobbins 
(q.v.) advertised that he was "departing the 
Province in the Spring" and that "He returns 
thanks to all his friends for their past favors, 
and hopes for a continuance of them to John 
Forthet, who carries the business on in the 
same shop." Forthet did no advertising. The 
records of the Register of Mesne Conveyance 
provide no evidence that he owned any prop- 
erty nor is his will filed in the Probate Court. 

William Foulds [Fowles] 

WORKING 1809-1813 

A William Fowles is listed in the directory 
for 1813 as a cabinet-maker at No. 62 Meeting 
Street This was very probably the William 
Foulds who was a partner of John Mclntosh. 
In the 1809 directory Mackintosh (sic) and 
Foulds are shown as 'being at the same place 
of business. Although Foulds seems to have 
worked with Mclntosh for a number of years, 


no specific information can be found con- 
cerning him. The records of the Register of 
Mesne Conveyance do not reveal that he pur- 
chased any property and his will is not to be 
found in the Probate Court. 

James Freeman 

WORKING c. 1738 

The fact of James Freeman's tragic death 
provides the only information we have of him 
and the information comes only indirectly 
from an advertisement in the South Carolina 
Gazette for April 8, 1745: "Either in the Year 
1738 or 39, one James Freeman, a Joyner and 
Cabinet maker, fell out of the Ashley Ferry 
Boat and was drowned; he left a Son who I 
believe is now about 16 Years of Age of the 
Name of his Father. If the Lad be living, let 
him apply to me who have very good News 
for him. John Laurens." It is not known 
whether young Freeman was ever located 
and received the "very good News." 

Theodore Freling 
-1799 WORKING PRIOR TO 1799 

Records incidental to the death of Theodore 
Freling give us our only intimation of his 
existence. On September 9, 1799, letters of 
administration were granted to James Fife, 
cooper, to administer the estate of Theodore 
Freling, cabinet-maker. The surety was John 
Watson, another cabinet-maker. 1 Though it is 
purely a surmise, Freling may have been em- 
ployed by Watson. The inventory of Freling 
reveals that he was a man of small means, 2 

John Frew 
1776-1799 WORKING 1795-1799 

John Frew seems to have been a rather pre- 
cocious young man, for at the age of nineteen 
he "Informed his friends in particular, and 
the Public in general, that he has commenced 
business for himself at his Shop No. 124 
Queen-street and executes in all its various 
branches every article of the Cabinet Making 
Business." The advertisement continues, "As 
no person in this city has ever publicly 

offered to take charge of, and conduct 
funerals, he offers himself in that line." 
Finally, he expressed the need for "Two or 
Three Journeymen, Also One or two ap- 
prentices." 1 

A career which gave promise of so much 
was cut short. On November 10, 1799, Frew 
died on Sullivan's Island, South Carolina, at 
the age of twenty-three. 2 

John Fyfe 

WORKING c. 1775-c. 1777 

On July 2, 1775, John Fyfe and Sarah Dott, 
a widow, were married. 1 This constitutes the 
first record we have of him. Two years later 
John Fyfe, cabinet-maker, sold a house and lot 
on CoUeton Square to Charles Desel, another 
cabinet-maker, for 800 current money of 
South Carolina. 2 That Fyfe died prior to 1779 
is indicated by the fact that in that year Cap- 
tain Andrew Quelch was married to Sarah 
Fyffe (sic), widow. 3 

Henry Gaskins 


There is only one record of Gaskins. In 
1784 he was appointed one of the executors 
of the estate of Benjamin Wheeler, another 
cabinet-maker. Whether Gaskins worked with 
Wheeler or was simply a friend is not known. 
The records of the Register of Mesne Con- 
veyance Office fail to show that he ever pur- 
chased any property, nor can his will and 
inventory be found in the Probate Court 
Though such evidence is completely negative, 
it suggests that Gaskins remained in Charles- 
ton only a short time. 

head of Champney's Wharf, ... has for sale 
on moderate terms, for cash or produce, An 
excellent assortment of Mahogany Furniture, 
Consisting of Desk and book-cases, Secretary 
ditto, Wardrobes, Side boards plain and in- 
laid, . . . N. B. The above articles are war- 
ranted good." 

Inasmuch as Gifford was located at the 
head of a wharf, it is quite possible that he 
had just arrived with some New York-made 
furniture. As nothing more can be found 
about him and he did no more advertising it 
is quite possible that, finding the competition 
too keen from the local cabinet-makers of 
whom there were many-he returned to New 


James Gilmer 


The only extant record of James Gilmer is 
contained in his inventory, dated April 19, 
1772.* From the articles listed in it he appears 
to have been a chairmaker. Besides leaving 
numerous chisels, gouges, and saws he also left 
"12 new chairs" and "2 dozn of chairs" and 
in addition "14 sides of leather." The latter 
was probably used for chair bottoms. 

John Gough 


There seem to have been several John 
Goughs living in and around Charleston at 
about the same time. The only record pertain- 
ing to John Gough, the cabinet-maker, comes 
from a single deed recorded September 25, 
178J, when he and his wife Margaret sold a 
lot in Charles Town to Stephen Shrewsbury. 1 

Andrew Gifford 

WORKING ? 1790 1790- 

Whether Gifford actuallv worked in 


Charleston as a cabinet-maker is not clear. 
The only record that we have of him comes 
from a single advertisement in the City 
Gazette and Daily Advertiser of March 16, 
1790: "Andrew Gifford, Cabinet Maker, Just 
arrived from New York, at the store on the 

Richard Gouldsrmth 

WORKING c. 1816-c. 1852 

Gouldsmith, a native of Sussex, England, 
took out his citizenship papers in 1825. At that 
time he stated that he was thirty-five years of 
age. 1 However, Gouldsmith was in Charleston 
for many years prior to his taking out his 
naturalization papers, for in 1816 he is listed as 
a cabinet-maker at No. 104 King Street 


On July 25, 1822, he purchased from Qty 
Council the property on the southwest corner 
of King and Market Streets for $4,400.00. 2 
Gouldsmith is listed in all subsequent direc- 
tories as a cabinet-maker. The last time that 
his name appears is in the one for 1852 at 
which time he is shown as being at No. 91 
Wentworth Street It is not known when he 

but one directory, that of 1809, where he is 
shown as dwelling at No. 14 Archdale Street. 
There are no other extant records. 


ThoTtw Graham 

WORKING 1809-1820 

Thomas, the son of the Reverend William 
E, and Sarah Graham was born on February 
19, 1786. 1 Whether or not this was the future 
cabinet-maker is problematical A Thomas 
Graham is listed for the first time in the 1809 
directory as a cabinet-maker at No. 67 
Meeting Street. On January 5, 1813, a mar- 
riage settlement was drawn up between 
Margaret Corre and Graham. Margaret owned 
five Negroes and a lot on the west side of 
King Street. 2 Presumably Graham and 
Margaret were married shortly afterwards. 
In 1818 Graham leased from John White the 
northwest corner of State and Amen Street for 
sixty dollars per annum. 3 On May 4, 1820, 
the following notice appeared: "The Friends 
and Acquaintances of Mr. & Mrs. Thomas 
Graham are requested to attend the Funeral 
of the former, from his late residence, No. 58 
King street, This Afternoon, at 3 o'clock." * 

Walter Greenland 


Walter Greenland is known to us only from 
one advertisement which appeared in the 
South Carolina Gazette of October 29, 1763: 
and Joiner, Begs leave to acquaint his friends 
and customers that he has taken a shop on 
Queen-street . . ." The advertisement seems 
to indicate that Greenland had just started in 
business for himself. 

Ephr&fltt Griff en 


The name of Ephraim Griffen appears in 


John Gros 

WORKING c. 1804-c. 1831 

John Gros was born in Charleston in 1780. 
It is not known under whom he learned his 
trade but by 1804 he and Thomas Lee, an- 
other cabinet-maker, had formed a copartner- 
ship under the name of Gros and Lee. This 
copartnership probably lasted until Lee's 
death, which occurred in 1814. After the death 
of his partner, Gros continued in business by 

Gros and Elizabeth Catherine Love were 
married on May 10, 1807. 1 By this marriage 
there were several children. 2 

Either Gros was connected with the Schir- 
mer family or he was a very close friend. On 
May 27, 1829, Aaron Smith either sold or 
transferred some property on Queen Street 
and some Negroes to Gros in trust for the 
Schirmer children. 3 

On July 2, 1828, Gros advertised in the 
Courier of that date that he had for sale "a 
few Charleston made Ice Houses of a superior 
kind for family use cheaper than those im- 
ported from the North." 

Gros died of "old age" at the age of 
seventy-three and was buried in the French 
Burying Ground, 

Peter Hall 

WORKING 1761-c. 1768 

Peter Hall, cabinet-maker from London, 
advertised for the first time in Charleston on 
December 19, 1761, in the South Carolina 
Gazette, stating that "gentlemen and ladies 
of taste may have made, and be supplied with, 
Chinese tables of all sorts, shelves, trays, 
chimney-pieces, baskets, &c. being at present 
the most elegant and admired fashion in Lon- 
don." The following year he says that he will 
"continue to make Chinese tables" and that 
in addition he "also intends to carry on the 
UPHOLSTERING business in all its 
branches." He further indicates that he will 

give good encouragement and constant em- 
ploy to journeymen cabinet-makers and will 
also take two apprentices. 1 The inference is 
clear that he was prospering. 

Hall advertised for the last time in the 
South Carolina Gazette for August 10, 1765. 
On that date he had for sale "Two large 
elegant pier glasses, and one Chimney ditto, 
just imported from London." The only other 
reference to Hall is contained in a single item 
in the account book of Thomas Elfe (q.v.). 
"January 1768 Peter Hall note for 100 due 
Thomas Elfe." 2 

The records of the Register of Mesne Con- 
veyance Office do not show that Hall pur- 
chased any property and his will is not to be 
found in the Probate Court, possibly because 
he remained in Charleston for only a short 

Thomas Hamett 


On October 9, 1755, Thomas Hamett, 
cabinet-maker of Charleston, advertised in the 
South Carolina Gazette that he "intends to 
remove from Charles-Tow to Jackson- 
Borough in about a month, and has a house 
and lot well situated on King-street" which 
he desires to sell. Hamett may have moved to 
Jacksonboro, according to plan, but he re- 
tained his Charleston property; two years 
after the advertisement the Provost Marshal 
seized his house and lot on King Street for a 
judgment brought against Hamett by Thomas 
Cdrker and Moses Mitchell for a debt It is 
not known how long Hamett worked in 
Charleston prior to his removal to Jackson- 

William Hammet 


William Hammet, at the sign of the Coffin 
and Chair, was a chairmaker, and his inventory 
clearly reveals that he made chairs as we now 
know the term rather than riding chairs. His 
inventory, which was recorded on January 8, 
1738, lists "14 Mahogany chairs about a forth 
part done 30; also about 160 feet of Ma- 

hogany and about 150 feet of Red Bay." 1 
Mahogany was definitely established in 
Charleston by this time, and Red Bay, while 
probably becoming scarcer, was still being 
used for articles of furniture. 

Nothing further concerning William Ham- 
met has come to light It cannot be said with 
certainty that he was related to Thomas 
Hamett, the cabinet-maker. The possibility 
cannot be summarily dismissed, however, on 
die ground that their names are differently 
spelled. In a period of phonetic spelling, 
identities are easily confused. 

William Hampton 

WORKING 1786-1806 

A William Hampton, who may have been 
die future cabinet-maker, was baptized on 
May 19, 1758. 1 Twenty-eight years later, in 
1786, William Hampton's name appears as 
that of one of the witnesses to a deed between 
James Graves and Eleazer Phillips, a cabinet- 
maker. 2 It is possible that he was working for 
Phillips at this time. Hampton as a cabinet- 
maker appears in the 1790 directory and in 
die subsequent ones. 

Nothing specific is known about him until 
the following item appeared in the Courier 
of October 21, 1806: "An inquest was held in 
the Poor-house yesterday morning, on the 
body of MARY ROBERTSON, a girl of 
about 19 years of age, who was shot on the 
top of her head, on the 21st of Sept last, by 
WILLIAM HAMPTON, a cabinet-maker 
living in Coming-street, with a musquet 
loaded with small shot: She was immediately 
placed in the Poor-house, under the care of 
the Physician of that institution and died 
yesterday, the 20th inst The Jury brought 
in a verdict 'that the deceased, MARY 
ROBERTSON, came to her death in conse- 
quence of a gun-shot wound she received 
from WILLIAM HAMPTON, on or about 
the 21st September last, on the top of the 
head, under which she languished until seven 
o'clock this morning, at which time she died 
of a tetmus, or locked jaw, occasioned by 
the said gun-shot wound,* " 

Search has failed to reveal whether Hamp- 


ton was apprehended and convicted for the 


George Hancock 

WORKING 1813- 

Hancock's name appears for the first time 
in the 1813 directory where he is listed as a 
cabinet-maker at No. 3 Hard Alley. The 
following year he took out his naturalization 
papers. At that time he stated that he was a 
native of London, twenty-five years of age 
and a cabinet-maker by profession. 1 Nothing 
further can be found about him. 


Joel Harden 


Joel Harden, "Joyner, 1 ' died intestate. On 
September 11, 1731, letters were granted to 
William Randall and Mary his wife to ad- 
minister his estate. Harden's inventory, made 
a week later, 1 indicates from the tools listed, 
as well as other articles, that he must have 
made furniture. Hence the inclusion of his 
name in this work. 

John Hefferman [Heffernim] 
1765- WORKING 1806-1818 

When John Hefferman received his citizen- 
ship papers in 1814, he gave his age as forty- 
nine, and his occupation as that of a cabinet- 
maker; and he stated that he was a native of 
Tipperary, Ireland. 1 Hefferman, however, was 
working in Charleston several years before 
he became a citizen, his name appearing for 
the first time in the 1806 directory. His name 
is spelled in various ways. It occurs frequently 
as Heffernan, not only in the directories, but 
in certain deeds. 

In 1809 Hefferman made a bookcase and 
table for James Jervey, for which he charged 

Being a good Irishman, Hefferman joined 
the Hibernian Society in 1814. His wife, 
Margaret, died in 1817. 3 Nothing more can be 
found about his activities in Charleston. How- 
ever, on May 5, 1821, a John Hefferman of 


Columbia, South Carolina, was married to 
Miss Eliza McCormick of Charleston. 4 This 
may have been the Charleston cabinet-maker, 
who had moved to Columbia after the death 
of his first wife. 

Julian Henry 

WORKING 1802-1822 

For a man who worked as a cabinet-maker 
in Charleston for at least twenty years, sur- 
prisingly little is to be found about Julian 
Henry. His name appears for the first time 
in the directory of 1802, the last time in the 
1822 directory. There is a reasonable proba- 
bility that Henry was of French extraction 
and that he anglicized his name to Julian 

Diligent search of the Register of Mesne 
Conveyance and the Probate Court has failed 
to reveal any record of Henry. 

David Hodge 


The name of Hodge appears only in the di- 
rectory of 1809, where he is listed as a cabinet- 
maker at No. 62 Meeting Street. 


Thomas Holton 

WORKING 1720-1731 

On June 27, 1720, Thomas Holton, chair- 
maker, appointed "his loving friend, John 
Stone, clockmaker, of Charleston" his at- 
torney. 1 The following year Holton married 
Anne Mindemen. 2 Shortly after their marriage 
Holton and his wife sold lot No. 222 in 
Charleston to Joseph Danf ord for 70 current 
money. This lot was located on the west side 
of King, just below Tradd Street 3 

In 1729 Holton executed a mortgage to 
John Herring of Middlesex, England, for 57 
Sterling of England, giving as collateral three 
Negro men by name "Seasar, Will and Jack 
by Trade Chairmakers." 4 This is one of the 
early records which show that slaves were 
being taught their master's trade. 

It would appear that Holton and his wife 
did not get on well together, for in 1731 

articles of separation were drawn up. The 
articles mention their three children, William, 
Thomas, and Mary. 5 Holton did not long 
survive; a few months later, letters of ad- 
ministration were granted to Ann (sic) Holton 
to administer his estate. 6 

On August 5, 1732, the following advertise- 
ment appeared in the South Carolina Gazette: 
"At the House of the late T. Holton, Chair- 
maker, on the Green, the same Business is 
carried on, where Chairs and Couches are 
made and mended, after the same Manner, 
and at reasonable Rates." No mention is made 
of the person who took over his business. 

Tboms Hope 


The name of Thomas Hope appears in but 
one directory, that of 1790, where he is listed 
as a cabinet-maker living at No. 15 Friend 
[Legare] Street Presumably Hope was a 
journeyman cabinet-maker who kept moving 
from place to place. No further records can 
be found. 

How and Roulain 


On November 13, 1762, the following ad- 
vertisement appeared in the South Carolina 
QVBINET-AIAKERS, next door to Miss 
Hester Simons, in King-street, Gives notice, 
that they carry on the said business in all its 
branches . . ." Such an association of names 
suggests a copartnership, but the advertise- 
ment is the only record upon which to base 
such a conjecture. Roulain may have been 
Abraham Roulain (, w ^o later advertised 
as a cabinet-maker. On September 30, 1761, 
Thomas How sold three Negroes to John 
How. 1 Unfortunately, no mention is made of 
the occupation of either seller or purchaser. 

Jay Evmston 


Jay Humiston is Iked in the 1802 directoiy 
as a Windsor chairmaker at No. 136 Meeting 

Street. He was probably the partner of Staf- 
ford although the spelling of his name under- 
went a slight change. As Humiston's name 
does not appear in the directory of 1803, he 
presumably left the city before the directory 
was compiled. 

Hwtnston md Stafford 


All that is known about Humiston and 
Stafford comes from a single advertisement 
which appeared in the Charleston City Ga- 
zette and Advertiser for November 29, 1798: 
"Humiston & Stafford, Chair Makers. War- 
ranted Windsor Chairs and Green Settees, Of 
the newest fashion, and of an excellent 
quality, superior to any ever imported into 
this city, . . . Also, for sale as above-A 
Quantity of Cheese, and a large Parcel of 
Onions." The emphasis upon "superior" 
Windsor chairs is quite evidently an effort to 
meet the competition of those who were 
bringing in such chairs from other American 

In the 1802 directory a Jay Humeston 
(sic), Windsor chairmaker, is shown as being 
at No. 136 Meeting Street, and a Theodore 
Stafford is listed as a chairmaker at No. 42 
Queen Street Presumably these were the two 
partners; however there is nothing to indicate 
the length of their business association. 

Thomas Hutchinson 
-1782 WORKING c. 1757-1782 

Hutchinson, a close friend of Thomas Elfe, 
Sr., was associated with him in business for a 
number of years. It is not known whether 
Hutchinson was native born or, like Elfe, 
came from London. The earliest mention we 
have of him occurs in 1757, when he was 
made sole executor of the estate of his kins- 
man, Ribton Hutchinson. 1 In 1774 Hutchin- 
son was one of the wardens of the St. George 

During the Revolution Hutchinson was a 
member of Capt James Bentham's Company 
of Militia. 1 During the siege of Charleston, he 
petitioned General Lincoln, together with 


many others, to surrender to the British. 3 
After the fall of the city Hutchinson peti- 
tioned Sir Henry Clinton to be returned to 
the status of a British Citizen. 4 Hutchinson 
died during the period of the British occupa- 
tion and was buried on July 21, 1782. 5 

In his will Hutchinson leaves most of his 
property to his godson, Thomas Elfe, Jr. 6 For 
signing the petitions to General Lincoln and 
Sir Henry Clinton, Hutchinson was ordered 
banished and his estates to be confiscated. 7 
He died before the order of banishment could 
be put into execution. Thomas Elfe, Jr., 
eventually received the property bequeathed 
to him, but it was probably amerced 12% 
of its value before Elfe got a clear tide to it. 

William Jasper 


William Jasper's name appears but once; in 
the 1819 directory he is listed as a cabinet- 
maker at No. 351 King Street. Nothing fur- 
ther is known about him. 

Henry Jocelin 


Henry Jocelin may have been a peripatetic 
cabinet-maker, for his name appears only in 
the 1807 directory. His will is not filed in the 
Probate Court nor do the records of the 
Register of Mesne Conveyance provide any 
evidence that he owned any property. It is 
not known what ultimately happened to him. 

Edmrd Johnston [Johnson] 
-1796 WORKING 1796 

Edward Johnston may have served his ap- 
prenticeship under a local cabinet-maker, but 
his career as an independent craftsman was of 
short duration. He advertised for the first 
time in the South Carolina Gazette on April 
23, 1796: "Johnson, Edward, Cabinet Maker, 
late from Philadelphia, Begs leave to inform 
the public in general, that he has opened a 
Ware-Room in Meeting-street, nearly oppo- 
site the Scotch-Church, where he has for sale, 
A general Assortment of Modern and Elegant 


Cabinet work, Finished in a style of Elegance 
and Neatness that surpasses anything of the 
kind, hitherto offered for Sale in this City, 
Amongst which are: Capital cylinder fall 
desks and book cases, side boards, ladies com- 
modes, drawers of different patterns, card 
tables of various patterns, and figures, break- 
fast ditto, ditto; and a variety of Chairs of 
newest patterns, with sundry other articles in 
the above branch. Likewise, Two suits of 
Tables, superbly finished for a Drawing- 
Room, Beautiful Japanned Chairs, or painted 
for do. or bed chambers. And various kinds 
of Fire Skreens. N. B. E. Johnson having en- 
gaged workmen of the first abilities, intends 
carrying on the Cabinet-Making Business, in 
all its various branches at his Wareroom, 
where orders are received and executed with 

Four months later letters of administration 
were granted to Mrs. Catherine Coates to ad- 
minister the estate of Edward Johnston, 
cabinet-maker. 1 It is not known from what 
cause he died or how old he was at the time 
of his death. 

Abraham Jones 
-1857 WORKING 1813-c. 1857 

Abraham Jones worked as a cabinet-maker 
in Charleston for many years. His name first 
appears in the 1813 directory and in most of 
the subsequent ones up until the time of his 
death, which occurred in 1857. He appears to 
have been something of a "joiner," for we 
find that on April 1, 1811, he was admitted a 
member of Orange Lodge (Masonic); he be- 
came a member of the German Friendly So- 
ciety on March 3, 1819; 1 and he joined the 
Charleston Ancient Artillery Society on Oc- 
tober 12, 1820. 2 He subsequently became 
Vice-president of both the German Friendly 
and the Artillery Societies. 

During the long period that he worked at 
his trade he appears to have had his shop 
always on Beaufain Street. In 1818 he pur- 
chased a lot on the south side of Beaufain 
Street from the heirs of Patrick Hinds, and 
four years later he bought the adjoining lot. 3 

The German Friendly Society awarded 
Jones a contract to build a bookcase for 

$110.50. Unfortunately, its present where- 
abouts is unknown. 

Jones died on January 13, 1857."* In his 
will he mentions four children. 

Robert W. Jones 


A Robert Williams, son of Jesse and Mar- 
garet Jones, was baptized on January 1, 1788. 1 
Whether this is the future cabinet-maker is 
not known. However, a Robert W. Jones is 
listed as a cabinet-maker for the first time in 
the 1807 directory. This is the only time that 
his name appears in any of the directories, 
and nothing further can be found about him. 
Presumably he left Charleston and plied his 
trade elsewhere. 


William Jones 

WORKING 1790-1792 

The name of William Jones appears for the 
first time in the 1790 directory. He is listed 
as being a cabinet-maker at No. 51 Broad 
Street. The following year he advertised that 
in addition to carrying on the cabinet-making 
business "he also intends carrying on the Up- 
holstering Business"; that he "Wanted, one or 
two journey-men cabinet-makers" 1 shows 
that he must have been fairly successful 

Jones died in 1792. His will, which is very 
short, was made on October 29, 1792, and 
was probated the following month. He left 
20 to Miss Rebecca Minskey; the remainder 
of his estate was bequeathed to his daughter, 
Harriot. 2 His inventory reveals that he had an 
inlaid cellaret probably made by him-a pair 
of caned Mahogany Bedsteads, and some ash 
and pine boards. 3 These were, of course, used 
as secondary woods in the construction of 
furniture made by Jones. 

Jones and Harper 


In the 1809 directory appear die names of 
Jones and Harper as copartners in cabinet- 
makinff working at No. 14 Archdale Street 

O o 

It is not known when the copartnership was 
formed or how long it lasted. Jones may have 
been Abraham Jones, who later worked inde- 
pendently from 1813 to 1857. Nothing is 
known concerning Harper. 

John Keckky 

WORKING 1809-1822 

Notwithstanding the fact that Keckley 
worked for many years in Charleston little is 
known about him. His name appears for the 
first time in the 1809 directory the last time 
in the one for 1822. The records of the office 
of Register of Mesne Conveyance do not 
reveal that he purchased any property and his 
will is not listed in the files of the Probate 
Court. It is not known what happened to 

Alexander Kinkoid 


To the unfortunately long Ik of cabinet- 
makers about whom virtually nothing is 
known must be added the name of Alexander 
Kinkaid It appears but once. In the 1809 
directory Kinkaid is shown as being at No. 
84 Tiadd Street 


James Kirkwood 

WORKING c. 1747-1781 

The eariiest mention of James Kirkwood 
occurs in the notice of the birth of his daugh- 
ter Catherine on October 6, 1747. 1 Nothing 
more appears concerning Kirfcwood until 
January 27, 1761, when he purchased part of 
lot No. 18 from Isabella Finch. On the follow- 
ing day James Kirkwood and Maiy his wife 
sold the same piece of property to Thomas 
Smith, Jr. 2 The price is not stated but the 
quick re-sale suggests that Kirkwood made a 
profit on the transaction. 

At this time Kirfcwood was living on Broad 
Street. 8 Three years later William Murdaugh, 
an apprentice who lived with him, died and 
was interred without a minister. 4 The record 
provides no reason for so carious a pro* 


cedure. Kirkwood himself was buried on July 
20, 1781. 5 

Francis Joseph Lacroix 
1775-1806 WORKING 1806 

There is little reason to suppose that Lacroix 
worked in Charleston for any great length 
of time. His name appears only in one direc- 
tory, that of 1806, as a cabinet-maker at No. 
53 Meeting Street. He died intestate on 
August 17, 1806, after an illness of only three 
days. The obituary notice states that he was 
thirty-one years of age and that he was a 
native of the Province of Champagne, France. 1 

Esparee Lamare 

WORKING ? 1753 

The only thing known about Lamare is 
from an advertisement in the South Carolina 
Gazette for September 10, 1753: "RUN 
AWAY from the Subscriber, on Tuesday the 
4th of September, John Daniel, a French man, 
by trade a shoe-maker, and can work very 
well at the ship carpenter's business: ... He 
is supposed to be gone with another French 
man, one Esparee Lamare, by trade a cabinet- 
maker, a thin man, Roman nosed, and can 
speak little or no English . . . Benjamin God- 
frey." Whether Daniel was apprehended is 
not recorded. 

Gilbert Bernard James Lapiere 
1774-1814 WORKING 1806-1814 

When Lapiere took out his citizenship 
papers on November 13, 1807, he stated that 
he was a cabinet-maker by trade, a native of 
Metz, France, and thirty-three years of age. 1 
He had been in Charleston at least a year 
before that time, however, for he is listed in 
the 1806 directory as being at No. 30 Union 

Lapiere died at the age of forty and in his 
will, probated on October 28, 1814, he leaves 
all his tools to his copartner, Thomas Le- 
jeune, and the remaining half of his estate to 
Docile "as a Proof of my gratitude for the 


care she has had of me and the attention she 
Paid to our common interest." 2 

James Lardant 


The name of James Lardant, joiner, is con- 
tained in the list of French Huguenots to be 
found in "An Act for the making Aliens free 
of this part of this Province, and for granting 
liberty of conscience to all Protestants." This 
act was ratified on March 10, 1696/7. 1 

Just when Lardant arrived in Charleston is 
not known but on May 9, 1694, he was 
granted lot No. 224. 2 On March 16, 1697/8 
Martha Lardant and Noah Roy gave a per- 
formance bond of 2000 Sterling to the Gov- 
ernor who ordered them to take an inventory 
within ninety days of the estate of James 
Lardant. Strangely enough the inventory is 
not listed. 3 It must have been made, for other- 
wise there would have been some record of 
the Governor's having collected the bond. 

Francis Lame 



Larue, another French cabinet-maker, was 
in Charleston by 1802; the directory of that 
year lists him as being at No. 81 Meeting 
Street. In the same directory a Madame Larue 
is shown as a shopkeeper at the same locality. 
In the following year Larue is also listed as 
a shopkeeper, suggesting that by that time he 
had given up cabinet-making. 

Larue probably died in the early part of 
1804. On May 11 of that year letters were 
granted to Francis Soult, Commissary of 
Commercial Relations of the French Republic, 
to administer Larue's estate. 1 Obviously Larue 
was a French citizen at the time of his death. 


Thomas Lee 

WORKING 1806-1814 

A native of Scotland, Thomas Lee probably 
served his apprenticeship there. It is not 
known when he came to Charleston but in 
1804 he and John Gros (q.v.) 1 appear to have 
formed a copartnership which apparently 

lasted until Lee's early death on February 10, 
1814, at the age of thirty-four. 2 

Letters of Administration were granted to 
Sarah Lee, his widow, on February 25, 1814. 3 
The surety was Thomas Wallace, another 
Scotch cabinet-maker. 

Solomon Legare^ Jr. 
1703-1774 WORKING c. 1754-c. 1765 

Solomon Legare appears to have only made 
chairs. On September 26, 1754, he inserted the 
following advertisement in the South Carolina 
Gazette: "ANY Person may be supplied with 
black chairs at 12 1 per dozen, white ditto a 
9 1. low chairs at 15 s a piece, and children's 
chairs at 12 s. 6 d. and 15 s. by applying to 
me at my plantation on John's-isknd, or Mr. 
Thomas Legare next door to the EX- 
Town. Solomon Legare, junior." Legare did 
no more advertising but he continued to make 
chairs, for we find the following item in the 
Statutes at Large: "January 1-December 31, 
1765 . . . For the Public Buildings. Solomon 
Legare Jr. for chairs for the jury room 18 
0500." 1 

Solomon, the chairmaker, was the son of 
Solomon Legare, a local silversmith. Solomon, 
Jr., in addition to chairmaking cultivated his 
plantation on John's Island, a few miles from 
Charleston, and later in life operated a tan- 
nery. In his will he leaves his tannery, which 
was in Charleston, to his son Thomas. To his 
other sons, Solomon and Daniel, he left his 
lands on John's Island. 2 His wife's name was 
Amy. Solomon, Jr., died in November, 1774, 
at the age of seventy-one. 8 

Thomas Lejeune 

WORKING 1814- 

Although Lejeune's name appears for the 
first time in the 1816 directory, he must have 
been working in Charleston some time before 
that date. There is a record of his copartner- 
ship with Bernard Lapiere (q.v.) who died in 

The Societe Francaise of Charleston was 
founded December 17, 1816. A Lejeune, 

probably the cabinet-maker, is given as one 
of the founders. 1 Nothing further is known 
of his activities or what eventually happened 
to him. 

William Lews 


The name of William Lewis appears only 
in the directory of 1809; there he is listed as 
a cabinet-maker at No. 99 Queen Street 
Nothing is known of his activities. A William 
Levins, who may have been the cabinet-maker, 
died in the Poor House on August 29, 1828, 1 
at the age of fifty-three. 1 


Thomas Lining 

WORKING 1748-176J 

It is not known when Thomas Lining ar- 
rived in Charleston but on May 2, 1748, his 
advertisement in the South Carolina Gazette 
stated that he had "lately arrived from Lon- 
don" and that he made "Cabinet and Chair 
Work, and Coffins plain and otherwise . . . 
in the neatest and cheapest Manner" at his 
shop on Broad Street. 

Thomas Lining and Mrs. Ann Ware were 
married on March 1, 1753. 1 Before his mar- 
riage Lining had joined the St. Andrews So- 
ciety and the Charles Town Library Society. 2 

In 1754 Lining moved to another location on 
Broad Street. The notice of the removal ap- 
peared in the Gazette of July 4: "Thomas 
Lining, Cabinet and Chair Maker from Lon- 
don, has removed into the House lately pos- 
sessed by Mr. Macarton . * . opposite to 
Isaac Mazyck Esq; in Broad-street." He 
added that he would "sell all sorts of CABI- 
NET and CHAIR work, well finished in the 
most fashionable manner" and that "Att 
Letters and Orders for the Country shall be 
punctually ansvxred; and the Goods put up 
in a safe Manner for Carriage, and sent by 
whatever Conveyance directed" 

Two years later fire broke out in his shop, 
"but by the timely Assistance of the Engines, 
it was extinguished before the roof was en- 
tirely burnt" * 

In 1750 a Dutch lad named Jacob Echard 


was bound out to Lining.* Apparently they 
could not get on together; the Records of the 
Vestry of St. Philip reveal that on June 13, 
1757, "Mr. Thomas Lining will pay the 
Church-wardens 25 for the use of schooling 
Jacob Echard, that then all disputes ... be- 
tween them shall cease." Whether Echard 
finished his apprenticeship with Lining is not 
known. He later became organist of St. 
Michael's Church. 

Lining was paid 49 out of the General 
Tax for lodging Lt Colonel Grant, 5 who ar- 
rived in Charleston on January 6, 1761. Grant 
was in command of 1200 British Regulars 
making up a part of the expedition which was 
being sent against the Cherokees. 

Lining died intestate in September, 1763. 6 
His inventory shows that he was a man of 
some wealth. 7 In it are listed "9 logs of Ma- 
hogany plank and boards" valued at 869 
and "Three lots of Cypress" valued at 92. 
Lining, like many of his contemporaries, used 
cypress as the secondary wood in the con- 
struction of his furniture. 

Henry Upper 


Nothing is known of Henry Lipper apart 
from the fact that on March 4, 1808, letters 
were granted to Alexander Calder to adminis- 
ter on Lipper's estate. 1 The inventory made 
the following month shows that the total 
estate amounted to $63.25.* It is probable that 
Lipper arrived in Charleston only a short time 
before his death and that he worked for 
Alexander Calder (q.v.). 

girls from John Poinsett. 2 Liston married 
Mary Toomer on May 1, 1756. 3 

The date of his death is not known but the 
following notice of the closing of his estate 
appeared in the South Carolina Gazette for 
April 26, 1760: "To be Sold, On Friday the 
30th Instant, at 10 of the Clock in the Fore- 
noon, at the Home of the late Robert Listen, 
deceased, in Tradd-street. The Estate of said 
deceased, consisting of 3 SLAVES that have 
had the Small-Pox, household Furniture, 
Cabinet-makers Tools, &c. . . . Mary Liston. 
Admx." His inventory includes a parcel of 
mahogany plank and a parcel of poplar 
plank. 4 The latter item leads to the supposi- 
tion that Liston probably differed from his 
contemporaries in using poplar instead of 
cypress as a secondary wood in the furniture 
which he made. 

John title 



John, son of Aaron and Elizabeth Little 
(sic) was born on September 11, 1769. This 
may have been the future cabinet-maker. The 
first certain reference to John Litle the 
cabinet-maker occurs in the 1816 directory. 
He appears to have died some time in 1818, 
letters having been granted on August 22 of 
that year to James Litle to administer the 
estate of John Lide, saw-gin maker. 1 It would 
appear that between 1816 and the time of his 
death he gave up cabinet-making for the 
manufacture of saw gins. The inventory, 
made on August 29, 1818, lists a "Turning 
Lathe & Tools" valued at $40.00. 2 


Robert Liston 

WORKING 1756-1760 

Robert Liston may have been the son of 
another Robert Liston, a local shipwright 
There is no record of his apprenticeship but 
by 1756 he was working as a cabinet-maker. 
On August 9 of that year he sold a negro boy 
named Mingo to Thomas Elfe and Thomas 
Hutdiinson for 157 current money. 1 That 
he prospered seems indicated by the fact that 
three years later he purchased two Negro 

William Little 


Litde came to Charleston in 1799 from 
Marlsgate, England. In 1800 he received a 
letter from his brother George addressed to 
"Mr. William Litde, Charleston, S. C Cabinet 
Maker to the cair (sic) of John Watson, 
Kingstrail [King Street], No. 12." John Wat- 
son, a cabinet-maker who had worked in 
Charleston for many years, was then living at 
No. 21 King Street. No doubt while he re- 



Height 27 3 / 4 "; width(open)38r; depth 35 ft" He.ght 29?>"; wdth 34V: ; depth I/ h 

FV *7 


depth 26Ji" Height 28 K"; dth (open) 42"; depth 26' 



( Cross member under drawer missing) 

Height 27K"; width 33"; depth 20'/ 4 " 


( Lover moiilding of leg not applied) 

Height 27 Ji"; width 3014"; depth 19ft" 


Height 31'/ 2 "; width 33%"; depth 20%" 


Height 29'/ 4 "; width 30 1 //'; depth 19H" 

Height 37'/ s "; width 48"; depth 25" 


Fig. 95 MARBLE TOP SIDE TABLE Height 35"; width 6'9"; depth 36!i' 


Height 27?i"; width 36%"; depth (open) 35'/ 4 " Height 28/ 2 "; width 35"; depth (open) 34'/ 2 ' 


Height 29/8"; width 34%"; depth (open) 34" Height 29 1 / 4 "; width 35"; depth (open) 35" 

dimensions not available 

:^;jV;; :i:A/:*^v 

Fie 100 PEMBROKE TABLE (Eilston Handles) 
Height 28%"; width (open) 37 14"; depth 30" 

Height 28"; width 19 l / 4 "; depth 

dimensions not available 


Height 28%"; width (open) 40!//' ; depth 32" 


Height 28 3 / 4 "; width 26i% 6 "; depth 18 3 / 4 " 

mained in Charleston Little worked for 

There is a family tradition to the effect that 
a member of St. Michael's church engaged 
Little to make a complete set of furniture, for 
which Little was never paid. It is thought that 
Little stayed only a short time in Charleston 
before moving to Sneedsboro, North Carolina. 
Either while he was in Charleston or at a later 
date "he bought a real native African to 
whom he taught his trade and afterwards 
made his assistant" 

The foregoing information on William 
Little has been supplied through the courtesy 
of Colonel and Mrs. Jeffrey F. Stanback, of 
Mt. Gilead, North Carolina. 

William Lupton 

WORKING 1743-1751 

William Lupton, cabinet-maker from Lon- 
don, advertised for the first time in the South 
Carolina Gazette on September 19, 174J. He 
informed the public that he lived on Broad 
Street and that he would make "all sort of 
Cabinets and Chairs in the best and neatest 
Manner, and at the lowest Prices." 

William Lupton and Alice North were 
married on March 3, 1744. 1 Six years later, on 
December 10, 1750, he inserted an advertise- 
ment in the Gazette stating that he did "All 
Kinds of Upholsterer's Work, as Beds, 
window-hangings, easy chairs, &c. ... by a 
person lately arrived from London, and all 
kinds of cabinet-work as usual." The last state- 
ment clearly indicates that Lupton had been 
carrying on his trade in the intervening years. 
It also implies that easy chairs had become 
common in and around Charleston during 
that period. 

During the following year Lupton got 
into financial difficulties. A statement in die 
Gazette of July 8, 1751, tells something of the 
story: "To be held on the first Tuesday in 
August for the benefit of my creditors, a lot 
with a good dwelling-house upon it, ... 
with good conveniences for a cabinet-maker. 
Any person inclinable to purchase die same 
before the day of sale, may treat with Wittim 

It is thought that Lupton left Charleston 
and moved to the vicinity of Georgetown, 
South Carolina. 

William Luyten 
-1800 WORKING c. 1764-c. 1784 

Mary Ann Collins and William Luyten 
were married on May 29, 1764. If Luyten was 
old enough to acquire a wife he certainly 
must have been a full-fledged cabinet- 
maker at that time. Mary Ann died on Sep- 
tember 9, 1770, in the 27th year of her age, 
and was buried in St Michael's churchyard. 
Her tombstone was a cypress bedstead. It can 
be seen to this day and is a tribute to the last- 
ing qualities of cypress. 

In 1774 Luyten had numerous business trans- 
actions with Thomas Elf e and in fact appears 
to have worked for him for a short period of 
time. Again there is a lapse of several years 
during which nothing is known of Luyten. His 
name next appears in 1780 when he, together 
with many others, signed a petition to General 
Lincoln requesting him to surrender the Gty 
to the British. The records do not indicate 
whether his property was subsequently 
amerced the usual 12% for signing the peti- 
tion, as was usually the case. 

In 1784 Luyten and John Ralph were 
sureties for the estate of Mary Monck. At 
tfiat time both he and Ralph are spoken of as 
cabinet-makers. Then Luyten appears to have 
given up cabinet-making, for he is frequendy 
spoken of as a merchant He remarried and 
his second wife Mary died in Camden, South 
Carolina, on November 29, 1792. Luyten died 
there also on October 24, 1800. 

His will is very forthright and clearly ex- 
presses his views. In fact, it is so interesting 
that it deserves to be quoted in part: 

"Item; I first say that I wish the Car- 
cass Box maker to be paid, but the Box 
must be procured in a most frugal man- 
ner-a priest or a Ridiculous prayer 
Reader I can dispense with, and I hope 
my friends will not admit such stuff at 
my interment, as I am sure their prayers 
were never of any Service or Use to me 
in my Lifetime, So of Course, they can 
be of no profit to me after my Death, a 


pound saved for the Survivor is better 
than Lost,-my Confidence is in my God, 
he is my Saviour, my Hope, my all,- 
neither do I want Organs or Bag-pipes as 
I am sure that my Sense of hearing will 
depart from me-and I hope my friends 
will be so obliging as to Lay me in a Hole 
as far from any Church as possible, par- 
ticularly from these Canting Hypo- 
crites- . . ." 

Richard Magrath (McGrath) 

WORKING c. 1771- 

If one may judge from his advertisements, 
Magrath wanted to be considered the most 
fashionable cabinet-maker in Charleston. His 
first and rather pretentious advertisement ap- 
peared in the South Carolina Gazette on 
August 8, 1771. He there announces that he is 
lately from London, the inference being that 
he learned cabinet-making in that fashionable 
metropolis. The advertisement adds that "he 
intends to remove up the Path, a little way 
without the Town Gate; where the Cabinet- 
maker's and Upholsterers Business will be 
carried on in a more extensive Manner." Evi- 
dently he had been in Charleston for some 
time. Finally he announces that he will sell at 
Public Auction at his house on King Street 
the following Goods: "Half a dozen Caned 
Chairs, a Couch to match them, with com- 
mode fronts, and Pincushion seats, of the 
newest fashion, and the first of that construc- 
tion ever made in this province"; also sofas 
"made in the genteelest manner, Easy Chairs, 
Double Chest of Drawers, and Half Chest of 

In the following year we find Magrath back 
in King Street. He then advertises "That he 
now carries on the above branches in a more 
extensive manner than it was in his power 
formerly to do." Evidently his business was 
increasing. He could supply "Double chest 
of Drawers, with neat and light Pediment 
Heads, which take off and put on occasion- 
ally; Ditto with a desk Drawer; Dining- 
Tables; commode Card Tables; Breakfast 
ditto, with stretchers; China Tables; Sophas, 
with Commode fronts divided with three 
sweeps, which give them a noble look; 


caned Chairs of the newest fashion, splat 
Backs, with hollow slats and commode fronts, 
of the same Pattern as those imported by 
Peter Manigault, Esq,-He is now making 
some Hollow-seated Chairs, the seats to take 
in and out." l From such an advertisement it 
certainly appears that Magrath was making 
furniture in the latest prevailing style, which 
at that time would have been in the London 
manner. Peter Manigault, one of the richest 
merchants in the colony, had imported a set 
of chairs and allowed Magrath to copy them. 
Also Magrath's statement that he is making 
"Hollow-seated Chairs, the seat to take in and 
out" would lead one to believe that hereto- 
fore all Charleston-made chairs during this 
period were constructed with solid seats, the 
covers being put on with brass nails. Un- 
fortunately the "neat and light" pediment 
heads for his double chests of drawers, 
"which take off and put on occasionally" were 
taken off so "occasionally" that only a few 
have survived. 

In the Gazette for May 10, 1773, Magrath 
again advertised a public sale of "Sophas, 
French chairs, conversation stools, and Easy 
chairs, of the newest fashion and neatest con- 
struction, such as were never offered for sale 
in this Province before." 

As the unsettled time of the Revolution 
drew on, Magrath inserted his final advertise- 
ment in the Gazette: "He at the same Time 
acquaints them [his Friends], that he is 
obliged to continue following his Business; as 
the Times do not admit to his settling his 
affairs; nor do his Circumstances enable him 
to stand still to wait for better" and that "he 
has moved from King-street to Broad-street, 
almost opposite to JOHN RUTLEDGE, 
Esq. . . ." 2 This certainly indicates that 
Magrath would have discontinued his business 
if he could. Nothing further can be discov- 
ered concerning Magrath. It is quite possible 
that his sympathies were with his mother 
country and that he returned to England 
before the outbreak of hostilities in the South. 

James Main 

WORKING 1813-1822 

James Main and Mary Ann Smith were 

married on March 18, 1813. In the same year 
Main's name appears for the first time in the 
directory. In the directory for 1822 he is listed 
as a cabinet-maker at No. 63 Broad Street, this 
being the last record we have about him. 
Nothing is known of his activities during the 
intervening years. 

William Marlen 

WORKING c. 1799-1809 

It is not known when Marlen started work- 
ing in Charleston as a cabinet-maker. His 
daughter, Mary Stephens, was buried on Sep- 
tember 19, 1799. 1 His name appears as a 
cabinet-maker in the 1803, 1807, and 1809 
directories. After that there is no trace of him. 
The records of the Register of Mesne Con- 
veyance Office do not show that he owned 
any property nor is his will to be found in 
the Probate Court 


John Marshall 

WORKING 1790-c. 1820 

At the time John Marshall, the cabinet- 
maker, was working in Charleston there were 
two other John Marshalls in the city: one a 
planter, the other a cutler. All three were 
probably Scottish. John Marshall, the cabinet- 
maker, is first made known to us in the 1790 
directory, where he is Iked as being at No. 
219 Meeting Street. 

On August 22, 1793, Marshall advertised 
in the State Gazette of South Carolina that a 
horse had strayed from his plantation on 
Ashley River, and two days later he advertised 
for a negro man who ran away from his 
plantation on Daniel's Island. The ownership 
of two plantations can certainly be taken as 
an indication that he must have been a very 
prosperous cabinet-maker. 

The following year Marshall was one of 
the sureties of the estate of Thomas Philips. 1 
Two years later, Marshall leased from Chris- 
topher Gadsen a lot on Wall Street for a 
term of fourteen years at a rental of $40.00 
per annum. 2 By 1800 Marshall appears to have 
left Charleston or given up cabinet-making, 
for in a lease between him and Ann Purcell 

Gfllon he 5s spoken of as 'late of the Gty of 
Charleston" and in other indentures made at 
the same time he is spoken of as "formerly of 
Charleston." * However, in the 1803 directory 
he is again listed as a cabinet-maker at the 
upper end of Meeting Street 

In 1814 a John Marshall joined the St. 
Andrews Society, This is thought to have 
been the cabinet-maker. John Marshall, the 
cabinet-maker, died in June, 1820. 4 


John May 

WORKING 1822-1855 

When he was still a young man, John May 
formed a copartnership (?) with Munro. This 
appears to have lasted only a few years; the 
1822 directory lists May as an independent 
cabinet-maker at No. 61 Queen Street. May 
maintained his cabinet shop on Queen Street 
for over thirty years. During the last years of 
his life he appears to have discontinued furni- 
ture making and to have become an under- 
taker. Like so many other cabinet-makers he 
probably made coffins during his entire 

In 1833 May received $50.00 as payment in 
full from James Jervey for making a ma- 
hogany bedstead and a mahogany set of 
drawers. 1 In the same year Joel R. Poinsett 
wrote to J. B. Campbell relative to having 
May do over some of his furniture: "I just 
recollect to have forgotten to call and tell Air, 
May the Cabinet maker Qn. St. what is to 
be done with my card tables-tell him they 
are to be levelled nothing more and especially 
let him abstain from cleaning them up and 
making them look new-a thing I abhor-I like 
old looking furniture and as they will prob- 
ably go to the Cottage newness must be 
avoided." 2 

May died on July 31, 1859, in his sixty- 
eighth year and was buried in the churchyard 
of the Circular Church. 8 In his will he men- 
tions his son James and his wife Marv T . 4 

May & Mitnro 


This copartnership (?) appears to have 
been of but short duration. The names appear 


in only one directory-that of 1819, when 
they are shown as being at No. 29 Queen 
Street. John May was probably one of the 
partners. Nothing is known of Munro. 

James Mazett 


James Mazett, as cabinet-maker, is only a 
name on a list. Evidently he worked in 
Charleston for but a short time. He is listed 
only in the 1816 directory. 

James McCIellan 

WORKING 1732P-1738? 

McCIellan was one of the first advertisers in 
the South Carolina Gazette, which was 
founded in 1732. On January 27 of that year 
he inserted the following advertisement: 
"James McCIellan, Cabinet-Maker, from Lon- 
don, living next door to Mr. Joseph Massey, 
in Church-Street, Makes and sells all sorts of 
Cabinet Ware, viz. Cabinets, Desks & Book- 
Cases, Buroes, Tables of all sorts, Chairs, Tea- 
boxes, and new-fashioned Chests &c. . , " It 
is not known how long McCIellan had been 
working in Charleston before 1732. It is inter- 
esting to conjecture at this late date just what 
McCIellan meant by "new-fashioned Chests." 
Unfortunately none of his furniture appears 
to have survived. 

Some years later, for reasons unknown, 
McCIellan decided to leave Charleston; he 
inserted the following announcement in the 
South Carolina Gazette of March 30, 1738: 
"As James McCIellan of Charles-Toivn, de- 
signs to leave this Province soon, he desires 
all those indebted to him, to pay their respec- 
tive Debts in May next, or they will be sued 
without further Notice. . . ." Presumably he 
left the province; no further record of him 
can be found. 

In 1733 he became a member of the St. 
Andrews Society. The records of that Society 
reveal he died a member but give neither the 
time nor the place. 

Af Donald 6- Bonner 

WORKING 1819-1822 

M'Donald and Bonner are listed as cabinet- 

makers at No. 48 Broad Street in the 1819 
directory. Three years later they are shown 
as being at No. 85 Broad Street. No further 
information has been found about M'Donald. 
Presumably the other partner(?) was John 
Bonner, who worked as an independent 
cabinet-maker for many years. 

Farquhar [McGilvrey] McGillivray 
-1770 WORKING 1760-1770 

Farquhar McGilvrey was in the province by 
1760. On August 6 of that year he purchased 
some tacks from James Poyas. 1 On March 1, 
1765, McGilvrey executed a mortgage for 
2500 current money, putting up as collateral 
his two Negroes. 2 Like almost every cabinet- 
maker of the period, McGilvrey had some 
sort of business contacts with Thomas Elfe. 3 
People with whom he dealt experienced dif- 
ficulty with the spelling of his first name; 
they usually spelled it phonetically and the 
form varies greatly. 

McGilvrey died on August 20, 1770, 4 ap- 
parently unmarried, for a citation was issued 
to George Gray "to administer on the Estate 
and Effects of Farquhar McGilvrey late of 
Charles Town Cabinet maker as nearest of 
kin." 5 

John Mclntosh [Hflntosh] 
1771-1822 WORKING c. 1806-1822 

A native of Edinburgh, John Mclntosh 
took out his citizenship papers on August 25, 
1813. 1 However, it is thought that he was in 
Charleston several years before that time. The 
1806 directory lists M'Intosh (sic) and Foulds 
as cabinet-makers at No. 133 Meeting Street. 
This was probably John Mclntosh. He seems 
to have worked with Foulds until 1813. After 
that he appears as an independent cabinet- 

No doubt Mclntosh served his apprentice- 
ship in Scotland. The date of his marriage is 
unknown, but his son David Neal was bap- 
tized on August 7, 1812. 2 

Mclntosh appears to have died intestate, 
probably in the latter part of 1822 at the age 
of fifty-one. His inventory is dated January 


2, 1823. 3 In it are listed 52 Mahogany "Bed- 
stead posts," some unfinished furniture, and a 
lot of mahogany and pine boards. 

Arintosh d Foulds 

WORKING c. 1806-1813 

The copartners (?) Mlntosh and Foulds, 
listed together for the first time in the 1806 
directory, were probably John Mclntosh 
(q.v.) and William Foulds (4/17.). They were 
still working together in 1809, it being re- 
corded that in that year they were paid 
$65.00 by James Jervey for making a pair of 
sofas. 1 The present whereabouts of the sofas 
is unknown. In the 1813 directory the two 
men are listed as independent cabinet-makers. 

Th&mas Mills 

WORKING 1766-1771 

On March 29, 1766, a marriage license was 
granted to Thomas Mills and Sarah Breed. 1 
Two years later Mills purchased from John 
Dobbins 1/5 part of die personal estate of 
Timothy Breed, who was his father-in-law. 2 

Thomas Elf e, having more business than he 
could handle, got Mills to make a sofa for 
him. 3 This was in August, 1771. There is no 
further information to be had about Mills. 
Some years later the name of a Reverend 
Thomas Mills appears in the records 4 but it 
is doubtful that this was the cabinet-maker. 

Philip Mintzing 


Philip Mintzing, the cabinet-maker, was 
probably the son of Philip Mintzing, a black- 
smith, who died in 1781. Nothing is known 
about the activities of the cabinet-maker 
except for a single instrument On December 
22, 1788, Mintzing was a surety for the estate 
of William Sutcliffe, at which time he is 
spoken of as a cabinet-maker. 1 The records 
of the Register of Mesne Conveyance con- 
tain no records of his ownership of property. 
His will is not filed in the Probate Court 

Ricfard Moncrief [Muncreef] 
-1789 WORKING c. 1749-c. 1754 

Richard Moncrief was not simply a cabinet- 
maker: he devoted much of his time to house 
building. On March 27, 1749, he inserted the 
following advertisement in the South Carolina 
Gazette: 'THIS is to give Notice ... that 
the subscriber is now at leisure, and will be 
obliged to any person that will employ him 
to do all the carpenter's and joiner's work in 
any one building. At whose shop in Queen- 
street all sorts of cabinet work is neatly made, 
and all kinds of lumber sold." In a deed dated 
January 13, 1754, between Samuel Ball and 
Moncrief he is spoken of as a cabinet-maker. 1 
After that time he is generally spoken of as a 
house carpenter. 

Moncrief was elected to the South Carolina 
Society on January 25, 1743. Two years later 
he was elected constable. He was probably 
well established as a cabinet-maker by that 
time. In 1748 Governor Glenn ordered that 
the Free School house be repaired. Moncrief 
submitted an estimate of 800, but it is not 
known whether he was awarded the con- 
tract. 2 He furnished some timber that was 
used in the construction of St Michael's 
Church. His bill, amounting to over 12, is 
dated June 12,1754.' 

For many years Moncrief was paid out of 
the General Tax for taking care of the Fire 
Engines. 4 In 1771 he was a member of the 
Grand Jury and the following year a member 
of the Petit Jury. 5 Moncrief must have been 
pleasantly surprised when he received a small 
legacy from his kinswoman, Elizabeth 
Gordon, of London.* 

In 1782 the estate of Richard Moncrief was 
amerced 12%J No reason is recorded, but 
probably Moncrief signed, with many others, 
a petition to General Lincoln asking him to 
surrender the city to the British. 

Moncrief probably died in September 
1789, his will having been probated on the 
eighteenth of that month, 3 and the inventory 
of his estate was made three weeks later.* In 
his will Moncrief mentions his wife Susannah 
and makes his son Richard his executor. Mon- 
crief had four children-Robert, Elizabeth, 
Richard, and Susannah. 10 His inventory re- 


veals that among his household furniture he 
had a "double chest of draws." 

Michel Muckenfuss 
1774-1808 WORKING c. 1795-c, 1806 

Philip Moore 

WORKING c. 1797-c. 1809 

In 1779 a Philip Moore was a private in 
Captain Felix Warley's Company. 1 This was 
probably not the cabinet-maker, but his father. 
Our first certain information concerning 
Philip Moore the cabinet-maker is his marriage 
to Besheba Hariet Hanlins, April 16, 1797. 2 
Two years later his daughter Mary was bap- 
tized. 3 

In 1800 Moore leased from John Mclver 
for five years the east side of Meeting Street 
"bounded on the South on an alley called 
Rope Lane." 4 For the next nine years he is 
listed in the directories as having his shop at 
No. 28 Meeting Street, undoubtedly the loca- 
tion of the property that he had leased. 

In the Times for May 21, 1806, Moore ad- 
vertised that he had for sale a Mahogany 
Double Desk. 

By 1816 Moore seems to have given up 
cabinet-making and become a lumber sawyer. 
In later directories he is spoken of as a lumber 
merchant. The last time that his name appears 
is in the 1831 directory. After that nothing is 
known about him. There is in existence a will 
of a Philip Moore, planter, that was probated 
July 7, 1857. 5 This may have been the cabinet- 
maker turned planter. 

Michael Muckenfuss was born in 1774, 
probably in Charleston. His name is indic- 
ative of his German ancestry, and he was 
actively associated with the German element 
in Charleston; he was admitted to the German 
Friendly Society 011 March 16, 1796, made a 
Steward in 1799, and elected President of the 
Society in 1803, at the age of twenty-nine. 

It is not known under whom Muckenfuss 
served his apprenticeship. It may have been 
Charles Desel, who, it is believed, married 
Muckenfuss's sister, Mary Barbara. 

By the time he was twenty-four years old 
he was well on the way toward becoming a 
wealthy man. In 1798 he was able to purchase 
three lots in the town of Jacksonboro, South 
Carolina. In the following year he bought 200 
acres in Craven County and 1000 acres in 
Granville County. 

Muckenfuss died on August 2, 1808, at the 
age of thirty-four, after a long and painful 
illness. "He left a disconsolate widow, a son 
and a number of relations and friends, to be- 
moan their irreparable loss." 4 His wife was 
Elizabeth Custer. He left to his son, James 
Custer Muckenfuss, all of his cabinet stores 
which included some mahogany, cedar, and 
pine. The two latter woods were probably 
used by Muckenfuss as secondary woods in 
the construction of his furniture. 5 His inven- 
tory included "1 Shower Barth [Bath] $2." 


Simon Morison 

WORKING 1817-1836 

Simon Morison came to Charleston in 1817 
at the age of twenty-one. 1 In taking out his 
citizenship papers he stated that he was a 
native of Fifeshire, "North Britain," that is, 
Scotland. Morison died of "Country Fever'* 
on September 23, 1839, at the age of forty- 
three. 2 His obituary states that "In his vocation 
as a Cabinet Maker he was indefatigable; by 
his industry he had secured a competency for 
life, and about three years since, retired from 
the business." 3 In his will he mentions his 
wife Maria and several sisters. His brother 
Thomas was one of the executors.* 


Josiah Murphy 


On November 23, 1771, a citation was 
granted to Charles Harris, a silversmith, to 
administer the estate of Josiah Murphy, late 
of St. Michael's Parish, cabinet-maker. 1 In all 
probability Murphy had died not more than a 
few weeks before. Among the items listed in 
Murphy's inventory, which was taken the 
following month, is a mahogany camp bed- 
stead, and a mahogany chest of drawers, the 
latter appraised at 80. Judging from its 
value, it was probably a double chest of 
drawers. Thomas Elfe, -who made so many 
double chests of drawers, usually received 

either 75 or 80 for new ones. Also listed in 
his inventory is a parcel of mahogany boards 
and a lot of cypress boards. 2 


Frederick Noser 

WORKING 1807-c. 1827 

Frederick Naser, of German descent, was 
the son of Frederick Naser and the grandson 
of Philip Naser. On October 29, 1807, Naser 
married Ann Custer, the daughter of James 
Custer, Michael Muckenfuss, another cabinet- 
maker, married Elizabeth Custer, a sister of 
Ann. Two years later Naser is listed in the 
1809 directory as a cabinet-maker at No. 58 
Meeting Street. 

Naser became a member of the Charleston 
Artillery Society on February 8, 1821, and 
was admitted to the German Friendly Society 
on February 7, 1827. 

Henry W. and Joshua Neville 
1796-1857 WORKING c. 1801-1840 

For over forty years Joshua Neville worked 
as a cabinet-maker in Charleston. Joshua was 
from Queen's County, Ireland. In taking out 
his citizenship papers in 1814, he stated that 
he was forty-six years of age. 1 It is not known 
when he came to Charleston but he was 
working here in 1801, for the directory of 
that year lists him as dwelling at No. 11 
Clifford Alley. The following year Joshua 
moved to No. 43 Tradd Street 

Henry, Joshua's son, was born in 1796. By 
1819 he was working as an independent crafts- 
man at No. 134 East Bay. However, the next 
year Henry was working with his father. 2 
This association lasted for over twenty years. 
The 1840 directory lists Joshua Neville as a 
cabinet-maker at No. 98 Church Street It is 
thought that he died the same year. If this is 
correct he would have been eighty-three years 
old. No doubt he did very little cabinet work 
during the latter years of his life. 

In the fall of 1820 the Nevilles moved from 
Meeting Street to No. 282 King Street, oppo- 
site Beauf ain Street They advertised that they 
had on hand a variey of Charleston-made 

furniture, 1 an indication that they were feel- 
ing the results of importations from the 
North. By 1828 they had again moved, this 
time to a location on Wentworth between 
King and Meeting Streets. In the Courier for 
September 22, 1828, they advertised "Funerals, 
furnished ... on the shortest Notice and 
most reasonable terms"; they also 
'WANTED, three or four BOYS, to learn 
the Cabinet Making business, either white or 
colored." Apparently it was a custom of the 
time to take either white or colored ap- 
prentices. Many of the colored apprentices 
must have ultimately become independent 

Henry Neville was buried in Magnolia 
Cemetery on December 28, 1857. He died at 
the age of sixty-one. 4 It is thought that he 
gave up cabinet-making at the time of his 
father's death. 

James Neville 


It is not known whether James Neville was 
in any way related to Joshua Neville, James 
is listed in the 1801 directory as a cabinet- 
maker on Broad Street, but his name as a 
cabinet-maker does not appear in any of the 
subsequent ones. On March 20, 1817, a James 
Neville, carver, purchased a lot on the south 
side of Queen Street 1 This may have been 
die former cabinet-maker, who by this time 
was devoting his entire energies to carving. 

Thomas Newton 

WORKING 1744-1747 

Thomas Newton, carpenter, joiner, cabinet- 
maker, and frame maker from London, ad- 
vised the public in the South Carolina Gazette 
of June 4, 1744, that he was "at Mr. Graham's 
Wig maker in Broad-street," and that he was 
"ready to serve Gentlemen, Ladies, or others, 
in these Branches of Trade, which shall be 
perform'd in the neatest Manner, and at 
reasonable Rates." 

Newton and Sarah Hawk were married in 
1744. On January 17, 1747, their daughter 
was baptized 1 Nothing further is known of 


Newton's activities. It is very likely that he 
left the Province. 

James C. Norris 
-c. 1853 WORKING c. 1819-c. 1822 

James C Norris worked as a cabinet-maker 
on King Street from about 1819 to 1822. 1 
After that period it is thought that he gave 
up cabinet-making. Norris joined the Charles- 
ton Ancient Artillery Society on November 
II, 1813, and served as secretary of that or- 
ganization from 1820 to 1853. He was elected 
a member of the South Carolina Society on 
August 9, 1831. Norris was married on Janu- 
ary 24, 1830, to a Miss Hayden. 2 

The date of his death is not known but it 
was probably about 1853, that being the last 
date given for his secretaryship in the Artilley 

John Nutt 


The only information we have about John 
Nutt comes from a single advertisement in 
the South Carolina Gazette of August 2, 1770: 
"To Be Sold, for Ready Money, At the very 
Lowest Prices, by John Nutt, Cabinet-Maker, 
Facing the Cross-Keys in King-Street, A par- 
cel of Well Manufactured Mahogany Furni- 
ture, consisting of Chairs of different patterns, 
Dining Tables of different sizes, Tea-Tables, 
Half Chest of Drawers &&..." 

The advertisement conveys the impression 
that Nutt was selling out his stock of furni- 
ture. This is substantiated by the fact that no 
later information can be found concerning 
him. Presumably he left the Province. 

John tackrow 

WORKING c. 1761-c. 1767 

John Packrow was born in Charleston of 
Huguenot ancestry. The name was originally 
Pasquereau but was later anglicized to Pack- 
row, On August 21, 1762, Packrow advertised 
in the South Carolina Gazette "that he still 
continues to carry on his business of CABI- 


NET and CHAIR-MAKING, &c. at his shop 
in Charles-Town, and will be obliged to those 
who will favour him with their custom, and 
he engages to have their work done well, and 
with the greatest dispatch, having very good 

There are two things of special interest in 
this advertisement; one is that Packrow must 
have been working in Charleston for some 
time if he "still continues to carry on his busi- 
ness"; the other that he must have been suc- 
cessful if he was able to employ some "very 
good workmen." 

On May 20, 1761, Elizabeth Packrow, 
widow, gave to her son, John Packrow, lot 
No. 115 on Tradd Street. The following 
month John mortgaged the property for 
3000 "lawful money." John Rutledge may 
have assumed the mortgage; in any event on 
February 25, 1765, the property was conveyed 
to Rutledge. At that time Elizabeth Packrow 
is spoken of as the widow of Lewis. 1 

Packrow moved to Jacksonboro, South 
Carolina, about 1763, perhaps thinking that 
he could build up a lucrative business among 
the plantation owners of the Edisto River 
area. Apparently this did not occur, for in the 
South Carolma Gazette of November 12, 
1764, he states "That, having given over his 
business in Jacksonborough, a few months 
ago, he has now resumed his said business 
again in all its branches; and having provided 
a set of good workmen for that purpose, 
. . . And, after returning thanks to his coun- 
try and town customers for their favours, 
hopes for a continuance of them." 

A marriage license was granted on March 
4, 1762, to John Packrow and Jane Singleton, 
a widow. Jane did not live long after her 
marriage. We find that a marriage license was 
granted to John Packrow and Sophia Harvey, 
another widow, on February 12, 1766. 2 Pack- 
row appears to have had a liking for widows. 
His son Benjamin, a child of his second mar- 
riage, was buried on July 12, 1767. 3 

It is not known what happened to Packrow 
after the death of his son* He no longer 
advertised nor is his will listed in the records 
of the Probate Court. His widow Sophia 
Packrow appears to have died in 1798.* 

Abraham Pearce 

WORKING 1766-1782 

five and was buried in the French Protestant 
[Huguenot] Churchyard. 2 

It is not known when Abraham Pearce came 
to the Province, but by 1766 he had been 
granted 100 acres near Long Canes by the 
Provincial Council. 1 Two years later he ad- 
vertised in the Gazette, as a cabinet-maker and 
carver from London, that he was opening his 
shop on Broad Street "two doors from the 
Beef Market," and that "Orders from the 
country, or any of the southern provinces, 
will be punctually complied with," 2 The 
latter statement is very significant as an indica- 
tion that it was the custom of the local cabinet- 
makers to export some of their furniture. 

Pearce did no more adverising. According 
to the Elfe account book, Pearce devoted 
some of his time to carving chair splats for 
Elfe. 3 Presumably during this period he made 
furniture on his own account. After Elfe's 
death, which occurred in 1775, Pearce re- 
mained in Charleston. After the city was cap- 
tured by the British in 1780 he was one of 
those who petitioned Sir Henry Clinton to be 
admitted to the status of a British citizen. In 
1782, while the city was still under British 
occupation, Pearce is listed in the directory as 
an undertaker at No. 32 Broad Street Pre- 
sumably he left with the British when they 
evacuated Charleston in December, 1782. It 
is recorded that for having signed the petition 
to Clinton he was ordered banished and his 
estate confiscated. 4 After that date there is no 
further record of him. 

James L Peigne 
1784-1839 WORKING 1809- 

James L. Peigne was a native of France, 
but the date of his arrival in Charleston is not 
known. 1 His name appears for the first time 
as a cabinet-maker in die 1809 directory. The 
next we hear of him is in 1816, when he is 
listed as a grocer. Three years later he is 
shown as being the assistant engineer for the 
city. He probably held that position until his 
death, which occurred in August, 1839. He 
died of "Cholera MorbJs" at the age of fifty- 

Mmin Pfeninger, Sr. 
-1782 WORKING c. 1772-1782 

The first mention of Martin Pfeninger 
occurs in an item of the account book of 
Thomas Elfe: in May, 1772, Elfe "paid Martin 
Pfeninger for work 40." Pfeninger adver- 
tised in the South Carolina Gazette on April 
12, 1773, that his Shop was in New Church 
Street opposite the Scotch Meeting and Par- 
sonage House. 

Evidently Pfeninger was a successful 
cabinet-maker. On October 2, 1777, he pur- 
chased from Michael Kalteisen a lot "on the 
N. E. side of the High Road leading from 
Charles Town or King Street." The follow- 
ing year he purchased 200 acres in St. 
George's Parish. 

On October 28, 1777, he inserted the fol- 
lowing advertisement in the South Carolina 
Gazette: "Martin Pfeninger-is soriy for want 
of material to oblige him to leave off his busi- 
ness of Cabinet-making &c. . . . As soon as 
material [Mahogany] can be had, he will be 
obliged to the public and his customers for a 
continuance of their favor." Obviously 
Charleston was feeling the effect of the British 
blockade. It was probably an easy task for the 
British cruisers to intercept all shipments of 
mahogany from the Indies and Honduras. 
The advertisement may also be an indication 
that the inhabitants of Charleston were so used 
to mahogany that they would have no other 
wood as a substitute. 

During the siege of Charleston by the British 
in 1780 Pfeninger, with many others, signed 
a petition addressed to General Lincoln urg- 
ing him to surrender to the British. 

Pfeninger was admitted to the German 
Friendly Society on June 5, 1776. The records 
of the Society show that he died on Septem- 
ber 20, 1782. His will was not probated until 
April 2, 1783, delayed no doubt by the British 
occupation which terminated in December, 

la his wfll Pfeninger mentions his wife 
Hannah and his son Daniel 

Martin Pfeninger [II] 
-1796 WORKING c. 1796 

It is not known what relation this Martin 
Pfeninger was to the one who died in 1782. 
He may have been the nephew of the elder 
Martin. Nothing is known of his activities as 
a cabinet-maker. On January 21, 1796, letters 
were granted to William Goodson to ad- 
minister on the estate of Martin Pfeninger, 
late of Charleston, cabinet-maker. 1 The in- 
ventory of his estate, which amounted to 
157, was taken two weeks later. 2 Pfeninger 
probably died in January, 1796. 

Eleazer Philips [Phillips] 

WORKING 1784-1793 

The first knowledge that we have of Eleazer 
Philips is on November 9, 1786, when he was 
a surety for the estate of Henry Leiber, The 
same year Philips and his wife Martha sold a 
lot on Smith Lane to James Gravers for 175 
Sterling, "of the State." The only other record 
we have of Philips is dated February 3, 1793, 
when he and his wife Martha sold another 
piece of property on Smith Lane. It is not 
known when or how they acquired this 
property. It is quite possible that it was an 
inheritance of Martha's. 

The records of the Probate Court fail to 
reveal his will or inventory. 

John M. Philips [Phillips] 
-1825 WORKING 1796-1813 

John M. Philips joined the German 
Friendly Society on April 20, 1796; this leads 
us to believe that he was of German extrac- 
tion. In the same year he was working as an 
independent craftsman on Beaufain Street. 1 
In 1801 he inserted the following advertise- 
ment in the Times of August 22: "CAUTION. 
Being apprehensive that my apprentice boy, 
JOHN HODGE, intends leaving the country, 
without my approbation or consent; this is 
to forwarn (sic) all captains of vessels and 
others concerned, from taking him away as 
they will be prosecuted to the utmost rigour 


of the law." It is not known whether Hodge 
was ever apprehended. 

For the next few years John M. Philips is 
listed in the directories as a painter and glazier, 
and it is not until 1809 that his occupation is 
again given as that of a cabinet-maker. He is 
also shown in the 1813 directory as a cabinet- 
maker. As his name does not appear in any 
of the later directories it may be supposed 
that he gave up cabinet-making about this 

Benjamin R. Porter 
-1825 WORKING 1798-1822 

As a young man Porter formed a copartner- 
ship (?) with Labach. 1 The association seems 
to have been of short duration. In 1798, when 
he was twenty-three years old, Porter started 
working as an independent craftsman. 2 For 
the next twenty-four years his name appears 
as a cabinet-maker in the various directories, 
although he appears to have moved the loca- 
tion of his shop at frequent intervals. 

Porter died of consumption at the age of 
fifty on September 13, 1825. The Health 
Department Records make note of the fact 
that he was born in Charleston. 

Porter <& Labach [or Fabach] 


This copartnership (?) is known from a 
single advertisement that appeared in the 
South Carolina Gazette on June 20, 1797: 
"Cabinet Makers. The Subscribers beg leave 
to inform their friends and the public, that 
they have commenced the Cabinet-making 
Business, No. 187, Meeting-street," and "that 
all orders will be thankfully received and exe- 
cuted with neatness at a low price, for Cash, 
Benj. Porter, Jacob Labach." This partnership 
was of short duration, for in January of the 
following year Porter was advertising as an 
independent craftsman. 

John Powell 
-1789 WORKING c. 1789 

Nothing is known concerning Powell ex- 

cept what is recorded in his will and in- 
ventory. In the former, made October 28, 
1789, and recorded a week later, Powell 
stipulated that his goods are to be sold and the 
proceeds given to his "friend Wm. Walters 
for his full demand against me for boarding, 
Lodging and nursing." 1 Powell does not 
mention any family. His inventory amounted 
to 22. 2 


Thomas Price 

WORKING c. 1797 

On November 3, 1797, letters were granted 
to Mrs. Elizabeth Price, widow, and Samuel 
Salter, carver, both of Philadelphia, to ad- 
minister the estate of Thomas Price, cabinet- 
maker. 1 The circumstance leads to the sup- 
position that Price was from Philadelphia. 

A few months before his death Price leased, 
for seven years, from John McCrady, the 
corner of Queen and Union Street con- 
tinued. 2 Price's inventory reveals that he owed 
small sums of money to four of the local 
cabinet-makers. 3 It is not known whether he 
worked for them or was an independent 

John Prue 

WORKING c. 1746-1772 

For one who did no advertising and ap- 
parently made no money out of real estate, 
Prue became a fairly well-to-do man. During 
the time that Prue worked in Charleston he 
must have made a substantial amount of furni- 
ture if his wealth was derived solely from 
that source. 

The first and only record we have of Prue 
in Charleston occurs in a deed dated March 
10, 1746, when he purchased two lots on the 
west side of King Street from Jordan Roche, 
His workshop was situated in his yard. 

His will was dated August 28, 1772, and 
probated the following February. Prue, after 
leaving certain bequests, left his money (other 
than that left to his wife Sarah) to the Com- 
missioners to be appointed by an act passed 
by General Assembly for erecting, founding, 
or endowing a College in this Province. 

The difficulty of securing the bequest is 
best told by Dr' J. H. Easterby in his History 
of the College of Charleston: 

"A third benefactor was John Prue who 
describes himself in his will as a cabinet- 
maker of Charles Town. By this instrument 
the college was made the ultimate heir of 
property valued at 2000 sterling. . . . 
According to the will ... the college 
which the general assembly was endeavor- 
ing to establish in 1770 was to receive the 
residue of the estate on the death of the tes- 
tator's widow. This lady subsequently mar- 
ried a Mr. Creighton, who, being a loyalist, 
retired to Scotland at the beginning of the 
Revolution. When Charleston was taken by 
the British in 1780, however, he returned 
and seems to have sold certain bonds which 
should have been reserved for the residuary 
heir. Whether the former Mrs. Prue par- 
ticipated in this procedure is not known, 
but it is certain that she died before Feb. 
10, 1785. On that day the general assembly 
ordered John Baker, who had been named 
as executor in the will but had never quali- 
fied, to take possession of a house at 96 King 
Street formerly occupied by Mr. Prue. 
This apparently was all that was left of the 
residue. Under the authority of an act 
passed the next year ... the property was 
sold ... by a board of commissioners ap- 
pointed from the trustees of the three col- 
leges. The deed has not been found, and it 
is not known how much was realized." 

Prue's wife Sarah was the daughter of Daniel 



W. W. Purse 

WORKING 1822-1831 

W. W. Purse has the distinction of being 
one of the few Charleston cabinet-makers to 
whom a definite piece of furniture can be at- 
tributed. On November 8, 1822, Purse billed 
James Jervey for $38.00 for making a book- 
case. Both the bookcase and receipt are in 
existence and arc owned by one of Jervey's 
descendants. The bookcase is made of ma- 
hogany, and as the price would indicate, is 
quite plain and was probably made for Mr. 


Jersey's office. White pine is used as a second- 
ary wood in its construction. This in itself is 
of great interest, for it shows that the local 
cabinet-makers were still using this imported 
pine instead of the more abundant, and doubt- 
less cheaper, long-leaf pine, 

It is not known when Purse started work- 
ing as an independent cabinet-maker, but his 
name appears for the first time in the direc- 
tory for 1822. Four years later his shop was 
destroyed by fire. 1 His wife was the former 
Miss Mary T. Fendin. 2 

Purse's name appears for the last time in the 
1831 directory. The Health Department 
records reveal that a "Mr. Purse," who may 
have been the cabinet-maker, died on January 
26, 1858, at the age of sixty-one. 

Laurence Qwckinbush 

WORKING c. 1801-c. 1808 

Laurence Quackinbush (or Quackenbush) 
must have been working in Charleston before 
1801; on September 3 of that year he and 
Mary Pringle were married. Their son Alex- 
ander was baptized the following August 1 
Quackinbush is listed in the 1806 directory 
as being at No. 3 Cock Lane. On Januaiy 1, 
1808, his daughter Ann Caroline was bap- 
tized. 2 As no further record can be found 
about him, it is possible that he moved to 
some other locality. 


John Ralph 

WORKING c. 1773-1801 

As a young man, John Ralph worked for 
Thomas Elf e. In the account book, kept in so 
meticulous a manner by Elfe, it is recorded 
that during the latter part of 1773 and the 
early part of 1774, Hfe paid Ralph 35 every 
month. 1 This, of course, was in local cur- 
rency, but it probably is a good indication of 
the wage scale of a cabinet-maker during that 
particular period. It is not known when Ralph 
started working for himself independently 
(Hfe died in December, 1775), but he was 
sufficiently prosperous to purchase a lot on 
the Bay on February 27, 1778. In the follow- 

ing year he bought a piece of property in 
Unity Alley. 2 

During the Revolution, Ralph became a 
member of the County Militia and during the 
siege of. Charleston he was one of those who 
petitioned General Lincoln to surrender to 
the British. 3 After the surrender of the city 
to the British, Ralph petitioned Sir Henry 
Clinton to be allowed to resume the status of 
a British citizen.* While the British forces 
occupied the city Ralph remained in Charles- 
ton and probably continued working as a 
cabinet-maker. On September 24, 1781, still 
during the occupation, Ralph purchased a 
piece of property from John Robertson on 
the west side of Church Street. 5 

For signing the petition to General Lincoln, 
Ralph was ordered banished and his estate con- 
fiscated. Ralph probably talked himself out of 
being banished and may have gotten off with 
a 12% fine on his estate. In 1784 he was one 
of the sureties for the estate of Mary Monck. 6 

The 1790 census shows Ralph as being the 
owner of one slave. His wife Ann died in 
January, 1792. 7 In the following year Ralph 
formed a copartnership with Nicholas Silberg 
which lasted for about three years. After the 
dissolution of the copartnership Ralph again 
became an independent cabinet-maker, but 
was probably not as successful as heretofore 
for we find that in 1797 he gave a mortgage 
for 410, putting up as collateral his property 
on Church Street 8 The mortgage was not 
satisfied until after his death. 

It is not known when Ralph remarried but 
after Ralph's death, which occurred in Sep- 
tember, 1801, 9 letters were granted to Mrs. 
Jane Ralph, widow, to administer his estate. 10 
Among the items listed in his inventory are 9 
Windsor chairs (which probably had been 
made by Ralph), 12 mahogany chairs, 5 beds, 
and some mahogany. 11 

Ralph & Silberg 

WORKING 1793-1796 

The copartnership of John Ralph and 
Nicholas Silberg was formed in October, 
1793. Their advertisement states that they 
were "Cabinet Makers, Chair Makers, and 
Undertakers" at No. 52 Church Street 1 On 


April 1, 1796, a notice of the dissolution of 
the partnership appeared in the City Gazette 
and Daily Advertiser. After that time both 
men worked in Charleston as independent 

William R. Rtrason 


Though Rawson's name appears in the 1819 
directory as a cabinet-maker, it is probable 
that he was primarily an importer of furni- 
ture. On March 15, 1819, he inserted the fol- 
lowing advertisement in the City Gazette and 
Commercial Advertiser: "Mahogany Furni- 
ture. Selling off cheap. W. R. Rawson, 86 
Meeting Street Has just received from his 
Manufactury at the North 22 Boxes Cabinet 
Furniture . . . Side Boards, Grecian Couches 
and Sofas . . . Mahogany and Burch Bed- 
steads." For some reason Rawson's importa- 
tions were not successful, for another adver- 
tisement three months later in the same paper 
reads: "Positive Sale of New and Handsome 
Furniture ... at W. Rawson's Furniture 
Warehouse, No. 87 Meeting Street, will be sold 
without reserve, as the proprietor intends to 
decline business . . ." It is not known what 
happened to Rawson after he "declined" busi- 

There is in existence a chest-of-drawers 
with mirror attached bearing Rawson's label. 
It is believed, however, to be one of Rawson's 
New York importations. A photograph of this 
piece appears on Plate XI, facing page 159 in 
Southern Antiques, by Paul H. Burroughs 

Andrew Redmond 
-1791 WORKING c. 1774-1790 

Although he was by trade a turner, Andrew 
Redmond also made Windsor chairs. His only 
advertisement, which appeared on January 13, 
1784, in the South Carolina Gazette and 
General Advertiser says that Redmond "still 
carries on, at No. 27 Meeting-street, near the 
New Church [St. Michael's], or corner of St 
Michaels Alley, Turnery in all its Branches, 
All kinds of House, Cabinet and Ship-Joiner's 

Work; Jobbing ditto, etc. Likewise Phila- 
delphia Windsor Chairs, either armed or un- 
armed, as neat as any imported, and much 
better stuff; Common Chairs, etc.'' 

Redmond was obviously meeting the com- 
petition of imported Windsor chairs. These 
chairs were sporadically brought into the port 
of Charleston from the North, the majority 
of them coming from Philadelphia. The fact 
creates a problem: if Redmond made his 
Windsor chair similar to those of Philadelphia 
manufacture, how can they be distinguished 
today? The kind of wood used in their con- 
struction may be the answer. 

It is not known whether Redmond was a 
native of Charleston. He was here, however, 
by 1774, for in that year he did some work 
for Elfe. 1 The following year an Andrew 
Redmond is listed as a sergeant in the troop 
of Capt. Thomas Pinckney, 2 but there is 
nothing to indicate the nature of his service in 
the Revolution. In his will, probated on Feb- 
ruary 1, 1791, he mentions his brother and 
sister, 8 

Willimn Reside 

WORKING 1797-1809 

William Reside was active in Masonry. On 
Januaiy 1, 1799, he was admitted to Orange 
Lodge No. 14 (Masonic) and by 1806 was 
elected Treasurer of the Ancient York 
Masons. 1 He was working as a cabinet-maker 
by 1797 2 and advertised in the City Gazette 
and Daily Advertiser on April 9, 1799, that 
his shop was at No. 131 Meeting Street A 
few months before this he purchased from 
Helen Perry a lot on the east side of Meeting 

On July 13, 1800, a marriage settlement was 
made between Reside and Mary Magdeline 
Clarkson, widow of Alexander Clarkson. Mary 
had inherited seven slaves and a lot on the 
north side of Tradd Street, The slaves she 
transferred to Joseph Gaultier as trustee for 
her daughter Elizabeth Clarkson. 4 The mar- 
riage between Reside and Mary Magdeline 
took place on August 3, 1800, the ceremony 
being performed by the Rev, John C Faber.* 
Within a few months Mary was dead. On 
April 2, 1801, letters were granted to Reside 


to administer the estate of Mary Magdeline 
Reside. 6 

Reside appears to have prospered. On July 
14, 1804, he purchased from John Drayton, 
Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of South 
Carolina, Ancient York Masons, two lots on 
the east side of New Street, south of the 
Charleston Theatre. 7 At that time the theatre 
was situated on the corner of Broad and New 

On June 1, 1808, Reside became involved in 
a lawsuit with William Wightman. Wightman 
claimed that he had sold a piece of property 
to Reside for 600, payable in three equal in- 
stallments, and that Reside had only paid him 
116, taken possession of the property, and 
built a house upon it The Court decreed that 
Reside must comply with the original con- 
tract. 8 

Reside's name appears for the last time in 
the 1809 directory, where he is listed as being 
on Church Street It is not known what hap- 
pened to him after this time. 

Paid Rosse 



John Riley 

WORKING c. 1784^1804 

In July, 1775, a John Riley was a private in 
the Company commanded by Captain Charles 
C Pinckney. 1 This may have been the cabinet- 
maker who enlisted as a young man. Nothing 
is known of his activities during the Revolu- 
tion. Presumably he served his apprenticeship 
in Charleston and may have worked there in 
his early days. After the Revolution it appears 
that he moved to Jacksonboro, South Caro- 
lina, a small community on the Edisto River 
about twenty-five miles south of Charleston. 
On March 31, 1804, Riley was granted letters 
to administer the estate of Samuel Davidson, a 
schoolmaster. 2 At that time Riley is spoken 
of as a cabinet-maker of St. Bartholomew's 
Parish, in which Jacksonboro is located. 

Riley married Frances Morgandollar on 
November 23, 1797. The marriage took place 
at Coosewhatchie, Beaufort District, the home 
of the bride. 3 Presumably Riley remained in 
Jacksonboro. He died there on February 23, 
1804, at the age of 53. 4 


When Paul Rosse took out his citizenship 
papers on January 14, 1806, he stated that he 
was a cabinet-maker by profession, thirty 
years of age, and a native of Italy. 1 It is not 
known that Rosse practiced his profession 
while he was in Charleston. In the directory 
for 1806 he is listed as a print seller and frame 
maker at No. 31 Broad Street In September 
of that year he applied for a license to retail 
spiritous liquors. 2 

The following obituary notice appeared in 
the City Gazette of October 28, 1807: 

"Died, on Tuesday last, Captain Paul 
Rosse, in the 37th year of his age. He was 
interred in the Roman Catholic Church 
with military honors, by a detachment of 
fifty men from the 28th regiment The 
officers of which regiment, with many from 
the Legionary Corps, attended their de- 
ceased Brother Soldier to the grave. Captain 
Rosse was a native of Italy; and had, in a 
residence of six years in this city, estab- 
lished the character of an honest man and 
good citizen." 

Presumably this was the same man in spite 
of the discrepancy in the ages given by the 
two records. 

George D. Rou 

WORKING c. 1815-a 1819 

A George D. Rou was admitted to the 
German Friendly Society on November 11, 
1815. In the 1819 directory he is listed as a 
cabinet-maker on Warren Street The only 
other available information concerning him 
is contained in the Records of the German 
Friendly Society, which show that he was 
"excluded" on August 9, 1825. Whether he 
was still working in the city at that time is 
not known. 

M. Rou, Jr. 

WORKING 1802-1806 

M. Rou is listed as a cabinet-maker at No. 
22 George Street in the 1802 directory. At 

that time he is spoken of as "Junior." In the 
directory for 1806 he is shown as still being 
on George Street but by this time the term 
"Junior" has been dropped. His name appears 
for the last time in the directory of 1806. 
The name Rou being an unusual one, it seems 
likely that George D. Rou and M. Rou, Jr., 
were in some way related. 


Abraham Roukin 

WORKING c. 1768-1787 

Of French Huguenot extraction, Abraham 
Roulain was born on August 6, 1738, 1 the son 
of Abraham Roulain and his wife, Mary Ann 
Guerin. It is not known under whom he was 
apprenticed. The first information we have of 
him as an independent cabinet-maker comes 
from an advertisement in the Saut h Carolina 
Gazette; And Country Journal for December 
6, 1768: "ABRAHAM ROULAIN, Acquaints 
the Public, in General, and his friends and 
former customers, that he hath removed into 
Tradd Street, next Door to George Saxby, 
Esq, where he carries on the Joiners and Cabi- 
net Business; he will be much obliged to those 
Ladies and Gentlemen who please to favour 
him with their custom. Mrs. Roulain carries 
on the Mantua-Makers Business at the same 

Roulain appears to have had some business 
transaction with Thomas Fife. In 1772 Rou- 
lain owed Elfe 23; three years later he owed 
Elfe another 6. 2 Roulain got into an alterca- 
tion with Francis Bayle in the same year. The 
Grand Jury brought in a bill of assault and 
battery against Roulain, but after due de- 
liberation the Jury returned the verdict of 
Ve can't say," 3 Presumably the charges 
were dropped. 

There seems to be no record of Roulain 
during the Revolution and the British occupa- 
tion of the city. On December 23, 1783, he 
mortgaged his plantation in St. Thomas's 
Parish for the sum of 226 Sterling of Great 
Britain. 4 He had probably inherited the prop- 
erty, which consisted of 197 acres; there is, at 
least, no record of his having purchased it. 

In his later years Roulain probably devoted 
some of his time to cultivating the plantation. 
In his will, which was made on May 7, 1787, 

he is spoken of as a planter. 4 However, in a 
deed dated August 7, 1787, Lewis Fogartie, 
executor of the estate of Abraham Roulain, 
sold some property to Andrew Guillebar, at 
which time Roulain is spoken of as a cabinet- 
maker. 6 Roulain must have died between the 
date of his will and the execution of the deed. 
There is nothing unusual in his inventory 
except 9 Hickory chairs valued at 20 shillings 
each. His total estate was appraised at 531. r 

James Roushan [Rousham] 
-1754 WORKING 1731-1754 

The first record of James Roushan is to be 
found in a bill of sale dated August 28, 1731, 
when he purchased from William Brace "his 
household goods, Indian Wench named Sarah, 
one lot in new London," all for 5 current 
money. 1 It was a remarkable purchase for 
such a sum. By 1733 Roushan was living in 
Dorchester, a small village at the headwaters 
of the Ashley River, near Summerville, South 
Carolina. 2 On June 30, 1744, a marriage license 
was granted to Roushan and Catherine Van 
Velsin, spinster. 8 Presumably this was his 
second marriage, for in that same year 
Roushan gave a Negro to his daughter Sarah. 4 

Roushan was primarily a carpenter and in 
all deeds and other records is so referred to. 
His name would not be included in this work 
were it not for the fact that his inventory 
reveals that he had "1 desk unfinished." * Also 
listed in the advertisement of the sale of his 
effects, which appeared b the South Carolina 
Gazette for February 27, 1755, is some cedar 
and mahogany plank. It is more than likely 
that the mahogany was being used to make 

Roushan's will is dated December 8, 1754, 
and was probated on January 10, 1755* 6 

George Daniel 

WORKING 1800-1819 

On January 1, 1800, Rev. John C Fabcr, 
Executor of John Eberiey, sold to George 
Daniel Row, cabinet-maker, lot No. 222 on 
the cast side of Meeting Street for 410 
Guineas* 1 In the following year a Daniel Row 


is listed in the 1801 directory as a cabinet- 
maker, at No. 11 Federal Street. And in the 
1819 directory a George D. Rou is listed as a 
cabinet-maker. It is just possible that George 
D. Rou and George Daniel Row could be one 
and the same person. Certainly the similarity 
in given names, as well as in the surname, 
would lead to such a conclusion. 

Edward George Sass 
1788-1849 WORKING 1809-1849 

Edward George Sass followed in the foot- 
steps of his father, Jacob Sass, and un- 
doubtedly served his apprenticeship under 
him. Born on March 5, 1788, 1 he was working 
with his father in 1811, for on February 12 of 
that year they advertised in the Courier as 
Jacob Sass and Son. In the 1813 directory 
Edward is shown as being located at No. 38 
Queen Street, which is the same address as 
that given for his father. 

Edward became a member of the German 
Friendly Society in 1809 at the age of twenty- 
one. He was made a Steward in 1811 and 
elected Junior Warden the following year. 
He married Mary, the daughter of Rudolph 
Switzer, on April 2, 1809. 2 By this marriage 
they had nine children. 3 

In the 1822 directory Edward Sass is listed 
as being at the Northern Warehouse at No. 
77 Queen Street. About this time Charleston 
was feeling the impact of furniture imported 
from the North. Perhaps Edward, realizing 
that mass produced furniture from New York 
could probably be imported more cheaply 
than furniture which was being made by local 
craftsmen, opened up a warehouse to take care 
of these importations. 

In December, 1823, Jacob Sass conveyed 
some property inherited by his wife to John 
G Schirmer in trust for his two surviving sons, 
Edward G. and William H. Sass. 4 

A month after the death of Jacob Sass, 
which occurred in February, 1836, Jacob F. 
Schirmer, Wm. H. Schirmer, and others con- 
veyed No. 77 Queen Street to Edward Sass 
for $5,500; this included the three-story brick 
dwelling house, workshop, and other build- 
ings. 5 


Immediately after his father's death Edward 
advertised in the Courier of February 24, 
1836, that he intended to continue the business 
formerly carried on by his father and that "he 
was grateful for the patronage so long be- 
stowed on his deceased father." 

Mary, the wife of Edward, died in 1834 at 
the age of forty-three. Edward died on Jan- 
uary 20, 1849, at the age of sixty-one. Both 
are buried in the churchyard of the First 
Baptist Church. His tombstone states that 
"For many years he was a Warden of this 
Church." 6 It is not known when Sass left the 
Lutheran Church and joined the Baptist 

In his will Edward gives specific instructions 
to his son, Jacob Keith Sass, to put his body 
"in a thin Spanish Cedar Coffin to be covered 
with lead and enclosed in a Mahogany coffin 
made of thick Mahogany boards." He left all 
his tools and workbenches to his son, George 
Washington Sass. 7 


Jacob Sass 

WORKING 1774-c. 1828 

For nearly fifty years, Jacob Sass worked 
as a cabinet-maker in Charleston. During that 
period he must have produced a prodigious 
amount of furniture. It is regrettable that 
none of his account books has survived. Sass 
ultimately became a man of wealth, owning 
much property. The funds to purchase these 
properties must have been derived solely from 
the sale of furniture. Undoubtedly an ap- 
preciable amount of Sass's furniture must still 
be in existence, even though it may be scat- 
tered throughout the country. 

There is in existence a desk and bookcase 
of large proportions now (1955) in the Miles 
Brewton House. Written in ink, in an old- 
fashioned hand, on the side of one of the 
smaller drawers is "Made by Jacob Sass, Oc- 
tober 1794." It is reasonable to assume that the 
piece was actually made by Sass. Unfortu- 
nately, because of the large size of the book- 
case it is difficult to make comparison with 
some of the smaller pieces attributed to Sass. 

A native of Schenstad, Hessen, Germany, 
Sass arrived in Charleston in the year 1773. 1 

















Height 3K" ; width 21%" 

JMe is known of the early period of his 
residence in Charleston. In 1776 he married 
Dorothea Vielham, the daughter of a German 
planter residing at Goose Creek. By this mar- 
riage they had five girls and three boys. That 
3ass prospered is indicated by his purchase on 
September 3, 1777, of lot No. 97 on Archdale 
Square from John Ward. 

During the Revolution Sass gave his whole- 
hearted support to the Colonies. In 1777 he 
was elected a 2nd Lieutenant of the German 
Fusiliers, a local militia company. The Fusiliers 
participated in the disastrous siege of Savannah 
in 1779. During the siege the company was 
conspicuous for its bravery and suffered heavy 
losses. Sass returned to Charleston and later 
on joined the brigade led by the gallant 
General Francis Marion. After the war when 
the German Fusiliers was reorganized, Sass 
was elected 1st Lieutenant and afterwards 
Captain. He was in command for several years 
until he was promoted to Wagon Master 
General, with the rank of Colonel, on the 
Governor's Staff. 2 

Sass was admitted to the German Friendly 
Society on July 9, 1777. He was elected 
Steward in 1783 and became President of the 
organization in 1789. His portrait, in uniform, 
hangs in the Hall of the Society along with 
those of many of its other Presidents. Sass was 
also active in other organizations. In 1807 he 
became President of the corporation of the 
local Lutheran Church and was one of the 
founders of the German Fusiliers [military] 
Company and Society. 

After the Revolution, Sass began acquiring 
property in and around Charleston. On June 
30, 1790, he purchased from Sir John Nesbit 
a lot on the south side of Queen Street, 
adjacent to a piece of property already owned 
by him. Sass apparently stayed in the locality 
during the greater part of his lifetime. In 1802 
Sass purchased a piece of property on the 
north side of Queen Street and conveyed k to 
John Elias Schirmer, who had married Sass's 
daughter, Margaret Helen. The value of the 
property was estimated at 900 sterling. Not 
only was it a munificent gift but it gives an 
indication of Sass's wealth. 

The following item appeared in the Times 
for January 29, 1802: "FOR PRIVATE 

PET. Wrought with different kinds of Fruits 
and Flowers, to be seen at the subscriber's 
House, No. 35 Queen Street. Price, One 
hundred Guineas. If not sold before the com- 
mencement of the Races, it will then be 
raffled for. Jacob Sass." During Race Week 
practically every wealthy planter within the 
area touched by Charleston came to town, not 
only to see the races, but to participate in the 
social whirl which occurred during the week. 
One hundred Guineas was no small sum, par- 
ticularly in those days. But it must not be 
forgotten that the preceding cotton crop had 
sold for 44 cents per pound. Doubtless, Sass 
disposed of the carpet with no difficulty to 
some rich planter or merchant 

Mrs. Sass died on March 31, 1812, after a 
long illness of nearly eight years. Jacob Sass 
died in February, 1836, at the age of eighty- 
seven and was buried next to his wife in the 
churchyard of St. John's Lutheran Church. 
Some idea of the esteem in which he was 
held by friends and the public in general is 
found in an article which appeared in thfi 
Courier of February 18, 1836: "At an extra 
Meeting of the German Fusiliers convened on 
the 15th. inst for the purpose of testifying 
their respect to the memory of their deceased 
Member, CoL Jacob Sass ... the last of the 
founders of the German Fusilier Company and 

"Resolved; That onr Hall of Meeting shall 
be hung with the emblem of mourning, dur- 
ing three successive Meetings, Resolved, That 
we will wear Crape on die left arm for three 
months, in token of our foss and affec- 

aon , . ." 


Harry Sounders 

WORKING c 1786 

Nothing is known about Hany Saunders 
except from his obituary notice, which ap- 
peared in the Cb&rkston Morning Post and 
Dotty Advertiser for Jtme 16, 1787: "DIED 
. . . Also, Mr. Harry Saunders, cabinet 
maker, of this city." 

On December 1, 1786, a Harrie Sanderson, 
cabinet-maker, was surety for the estate of 


Malcolm Smith. 1 This is probably the same 


Edward Scull 

WORKING c. 1727-1744 

Edward Scull presents a problem, since he is 
nowhere listed as a cabinet-maker. However, 
he is spoken of both as a joiner and as a 
chairmaker and it is probable that he actually 
made chairs as we now know them. In 1727 
he executed a bond to Joseph Hunt for 433 
current lawful money. 1 In the South Caro- 
lina Gazette for February 20, 1744, occurs the 
following advertisement: ". . . to be sold a 
small Pettiaugua . . . Whoever has a mind to 
purchase her, may treat with the said John 
Hogg, next door to Mr. Scull, Chairmaker." 
It is not known how long Scull worked in 
Charleston. On October 20 of that same year 
the will of Edward Scull, Joiner, was pro- 
bated. In it he mentions his mother, Mary 
Forster, living in Pennsylvania, and his wife 
Ann. 2 

Among the items listed in Scull's inven- 
tory are "one mahogany table, one mahogany 
tea table, and one cypress Press." 3 

John /. Sheridan 

WORKING c. 1825 

A strong advocate of local industry, John 
J. Sheridan started working in Charleston 
about 1825. On April 26 of that year he adver- 
tised for the first time in the Courier that he 
had "GRECIAN SOFAS, Easy Chairs," and 
other articles of furniture for sale. For the next 
few years nothing is known of his activities 
except from an item that appeared in the 
Weekly Report of the Stewards of the Orphan 
House: "Sept 10-16, 1829 Marinus Vannifer 
[apprenticed] to Mr. John J. Sheridan, Cabi- 
net maker." 

By 1830 the importation into Charleston of 
mass-produced furniture from New York had 
reached such proportions that it was working 
an economic hardship on the local cabinet- 
makers. Many Charleston cabinet-makers 
handled these importations, finding, no doubt, 
that even with the freight added, the imported 

piece could be made and sold more cheaply 
than one made by a local artisan. Sheridan 
appeared determined to combat these im- 
portations by arousing the civic pride of the 
Charlestonians. During the next three years 
his advertisements in the Courier laid particu- 
lar stress on "CHARLESTON MADE 
FURNITURE," which consisted of "Dress- 
ing and plain Bureaus; Sideboards of the latest 
fashion; Mahogany and plain bedsteads; Pillar 
and daw Tea Tables . . . Wardrobes; Sofas 
of various patterns Also, Windsor and Easy- 
chairs . . ." Just how successful Sheridan was 
in influencing the purchases of the Charles- 
tonians does not appear. 

Information on Sheridan's later life is scant. 
On April 20, 1855, he executed a mortgage to 
Thomas W. Gadsden, giving as collateral a 
lot and building on the south side of Ann 
Street. 1 

Thomas Sigwald 

WORKING c. 1797-1816 

Thomas Sigwald, who was of German ex- 
traction, became a member of the German 
Friendly Society on July 26, 1797. Two 
years later letters were granted to him to 
administer the estate of Christian Sigwald, Inn 
Keeper. 1 This may have been his father. In 
1801 Sigwald sold a lot on the north side of 
Montagu Street to Jacob Sass for 250 
Guineas. 2 It is quite possible that Sigwald was 
apprenticed to, and worked for, Sass during 
his early life. 

His name appears for the first time as an 
independent cabinet-maker in the 1806 di- 
rectory where he is listed as being on the 
southwest corner of King and Queen Streets. 
He is listed as a cabinet-maker for the last 
time in the directory for 1816. After that 
nothing is known about him. His will is not 
recorded in the files of the Probate Court. 


Nicholas Silberg 

WORKING 1796-1801 

Nicholas Silberg, a native of Sweden, 
formed a copartnership with John Ralph 
(q.v.) in 1793. This association lasted about 


three years. Both Silberg and Ralph were 
probably very young men when they formed 
this copartnership. By 1796 Silberg was estab- 
lished as an independent cabinet-maker and 
undertaker at No. 132 Queen Street. 1 

Silberg and Mrs. Margaret dark were mar- 
ried on March 28, 1797. 2 The marriage was of 
short duration. Silberg was buried on Decem- 
ber 27, 1801, having died of "strangers" 
fever. 3 In his will he leaves the residue of his 
estate to his wife Margaret for her lifetime, 
then to relatives in the Town of Carlscrona, 
Sweden.* Among the things listed in his in- 
ventory are some chests of drawers, 1 lot of 
mahogany, 1 lot of cedar boards, 1 lot of 
pine boards. 5 The latter wood by this time 
had supplanted cypress as a secondary wood. 

] tones S 


James Simmons, like some of the other Low 
Country cabinet-makers, apparently thought 
that Jacksonboro, South Carolina, would be a 
lucrative place to establish his shop. This small 
community is about twenty-five miles south 
of Charleston on the Edisto River and in the 
center of several rice plantations. It is not 
known when Simmons moved to Jacksonboro 
or how long he worked there. On April 7, 
1790, letters were granted to Mrs. Sarah Horn 
to administer the estate of James Simmons, 
cabinet-maker of Jacksonboro. 1 

John S?nith 

WORKING ? 1774 

John Smith, cabinet-maker, aged twenty- 
two, left the port of London during the first 
week of August, 1774, on the Carolina Packet. 
He stated that his destination was Carolina 
[Charleston], where he intended to settle. 1 
There is, however, no record of his working 
in Charleston. 


Richard Smtb 

WORKING 1809-1857 

Richard Smith worked for nearly fifty years 
as a cabinet-maker in Charleston. He began 
working in 1809, (the year in which his name 
first appears in the directory) and until the 
time of his death, which occurred in 1857, 
Smith produced furniture. Even if he had no 
one to help him, he must have produced, dur- 
ing that length of time, a prodigious amount. 
There is a record where Smith was paid $4.00 
by James Jervey for a wash-hand stand. The 
payment was made on December 6, 1824. 1 

Ann Wood and Richard Smith were mar- 
ried on December 24, 1812. 2 Two years later 
their son Richard was baptized. 8 In his will, 
which was probated on August 25, 1857, 
Smith provides for his wife Ann and leaves 
his estate to his children, "share and share 

George Elias Smith 

WORKING 1806-1816 

Although George Elias Smith worked in 
Charleston for many years, little is known of 
his activities. His name appears for the first 
time in the directory of 1806, where he is 
listed as being at No. 115 Meeting Street A 
decade later he is still spoken of as a cabinet- 
maker, but in the 1819 directory his occupa- 
tion is given as that of carpenter. 

On August 18, 1810, George Elias Smith 
and Margaret Morgan were married. 1 The 
records contain no further data concerning 

Theodore Stafford 

WORKING 1801- 

Theodore Stafford appears to have been the 
former partner of Jay Humiston. Under the 
name of Humiston and Stafford they adver- 
tised in 1798 as Windsor chairmakers. It is 
not known how long this partnership lasted, 
but in the 1801 directory Stafford's name 
appears as that of a chairmaker at No. 98 
Tradd Street He is again Iked in the 1802 
directory but after that there is no record of 
him. It seems fairly certain that he left the 
city to work elsewhere. 


Charles Stewart 

WORKING c. 1794-c. 1800 

Charles Stewart states that he is from Lon- 
don. He is primarily interested in further- 
ing a new type sunshade for windows "a 


specimen of which, may in the course or a 
few days be seen on the house of the hon. 
John Rudedge; ... The utility of this in- 
vention has been fully proved by the approba- 
tion of all persons of taste, and the encourage- 
ment given by people of property in Eng- 
land." Stewart adds that he is engaged in 
"Cabinet iMaking in all its branches, from a 
tea caddy to a library bookcase." x 

Esther Brindley and Charles Stewart were 
married on June 16, 1794. 2 In 1800 Stewart 
took out his citizenship papers. 3 His age and 
birthplace were not recorded at the time. 
Stewart must have prospered, for on Novem- 
ber 23, 1795 he bought some land situated 
near the headwaters of the Ashley River. 
Three years later he purchased a lot on the 
south side of Broad Street. 4 

A Charles Stewart died on November 14, 
1817, at White Bluff, Savannah, at the age of 
fifty-seven. 5 This may have been the cabinet- 

George Stewart 


The only records of George Stewart are 
those which were made after his death. On 
March 11, 1785, letters were granted to 
Isabelle Stewart, widow, to administer the 
estate of George Stewart, cabinet-maker. 1 His 
inventory, taken three months later, lists only 
two chests of carpenter and cabinet-makers 
tools. 2 Stewart must have worked in Charles- 
ton immediately after the Revolution when 
economic conditions were still chaotic. It is 
not known whether he worked independently 
or for some one else. 

Thomas Stocks 
-c 1760 WORKING c. 1758 

There appear to have been three Thomas 
Stocks living in the vicinity of Charleston 

during the same period. One, a planter, died 
in 1742; one, who speaks of himself as 
"Gentleman," died in 1766; the third was the 
cabinet-maker, who died in 1760. Practically 
nothing is known about the cabinet-maker. 
On October 1, 1758, Thomas Stocks, cabinet- 
maker, and his wife Sarah conveyed die south- 
eastern part of lot No. 254 to Philip Mensing 
for 660 local currency. 1 In the same year 
Stocks' daughter Eleanor was baptized. 2 

Stocks formed a copartnership with Stephen 
Townsend though the date is not known. The 
one fact about it is contained in a single ad- 
vertisement published in the South Carolina 
Gazette for April 7, 1760: "The co-partnership 
of the late Thomas Stocks deceased, and 
Stephen Tovmsend, being expired, all persons 
indebted to them are desired to settle their 
accompts with all convenient speed . . ." 

William Swaney 

WORKING 1803-1807 

William Swaney's name appears in only 
two directories, those of 1806 and 1807. An 
earlier notice of him provides the information 
that he was admitted to Orange Lodge 
(Masonic) on February 9, 1803. Since at that 
time he could not have been less than twenty- 
one years old, and since he is not mentioned 
as a cabinet-maker until three years later, it is 
possible that in 1806 he was still compara- 
tively young and that he had spent his early 
years either as an apprentice or as the em- 
ployee of an established cabinet-maker. After 
1807 all trace of him is lost 

Christian Tamerus 

WORKING 1805-1810 

On November 24, 1805, Christian Tamerus 
sold a lot on the east side of King Street and 
another piece of property "up the path in 
St Phillip Parish fronting on the Broad Road 
leading to and from Charleston." x There are 
no earlier records to indicate how he acquired 
the property; it may have come to him by in- 
heritance. The next year Tamerus appears in 
the directory as being at No. 9 East King 
Street Road. During the succeeding years 


Tamerus purchased some additional property 
on King Street 

On January 24, 1809, Miss Fanny Moran 
and Christian Tamerus were married by the 
Rev. Charles Faber. 2 As his will cannot be 
found in the records of the Probate Court and 
no other records can be found concerning 
him it is thought that he moved to some other 

John Teachester 


The name of John Teachester appears only 
in the directory of 1822; there he is listed as 
being at No. 11 East Bay. No other records 
of Teachester have been found. 



WORKING 1816-1819 

It is not known how long Thomas Tennant 
worked as a cabinet-maker in Charleston. His 
name appears only in the directories of 1816 
and 1819. In 1832 Tennant and his wife Eliza- 
beth conveyed some property on the south 
side of Queen Street 1 Tennant died in 1838 
at the age of sixty-two and is buried in the 
churchyard of the French [Huguenot] 
Church. The records of die Health Depart- 
ment state that he was born in Germany. 

Jacob Tbom 


Jacob Thorn and Susan Quackinbush were 
married on May 25, 1800. 1 Susan may have 
been the sister of Laurence Quackinbush, an- 
other cabinet-maker, with whom Thorn 
entered into partnership for a time. The di- 
rectory of 1802 shows them as being at the 
same address, No. 68 Meeting Street The 
directory of the next year lists Thorn as an 
independent craftsman. 

There are no records of Thorn after 1803. 

Tbom and Quackinbush 


This copartnership (?) between Jacob 

Thorn and his brother-in-law, Laurence 
Quackinbush, apparently lasted but a year. 
They are shown in the 1802 directory as be- 
ing at No. 68 Meeting Street After that time 
their names appear separately and at different 

James H. Thompson 


There appear to have been more than one 
James Thompson living in Charleston dur- 
ing the early 1800's; hence it is diffi- 
cult to know which of the various records 
refer to the James H. Thompson who is 
identified in the directory as a cabinet-maker, 
on St Philip's Street. Whether he moved to 
some other city or gave up cabinet-making 
and took up some other trade, nowhere 

William Thompson 

WORKING 1803-1806 

William Thompson devoted himself to the 
making of Windsor chairs. In the directories 
of both 1803 and 1806 he is listed as a 
Windsor chairmaker. During that period 
numbers of such chairs were being imported 
into Charleston from Philadelphia. No doubt 
Thompson, along with some other Charles- 
ton chairmakers, was trying to meet this 
competition. Whether he was successful is 
not known. 


Stephen Townsend 

WORKING c. 1760-1771 

The first reference we have of Stephen 
Townsend is contained in an advertisement 
in the South Carolina Gazette for April 7, 
1760, which states that the copartnership be- 
tween Townsend and Stocks has been ter- 
minated by Stock's death- Apparently Town- 
send worked as an independent cabinet-maker 
for three years. Then on February 12, 1763, 
Townsend and William Axson advertised in 
the Gazette that they were open for business 
at their shop on Tradd Street. Two years 
later they suffered from a disastrous fire. At 


that time they were spoken of as "industrious 
young men." 1 Their copartnership appears 
to have lasted until 1768. On April of that 
year Townsend advertised that he was mov- 
ing his shop to Meeting Street. Again Town- 
send appears to have worked as an independent 
craftsman for about three years. On June 1, 
1771, John Fisher (q.v.) announced in the 
South Carolina Gazette; And Country Journal 
that he was buying out "Mr. Stephen Town- 
send his STOCK in TRADE and NEGROES 
brought up in the Business." 

Townsend's financial success as a cabinet- 
maker is indicated by the fact that in 1768 he 
was able to purchase a lot which is thought 
to have been on Meeting Street. 2 This is prob- 
ably the location to which he moved after 
the dissolution of his copartnership with 
Axson. In 1770 he purchased 150 acres in St. 
Thomas and St. Denis Parish. 3 In the same 
year he purchased six Negroes for 1900 
current money. 4 Like almost every other 
cabinet-maker in Charleston, Townsend ap- 
pears to have had several business transactions 
with Thomas Efe. In April, 1770, the follow- 
ing notation is found in Elfe's account book: 
"Lent Stephen Townsend on his bond 15 
instant 173." 5 

It is thought that Townsend gave up 
cabinet-making after he sold out to Fisher in 
1771, and became a planter in Christ Church 
Parish. In 1772 he was still buying property, 
for it is recorded that on May 25 of that year 
he purchased 663 acres on the Wando River 
from Charles Pinckney. 6 

Whether Townsend took an active part in 
the Revolution is not known. During the 
occupation of Charleston by the British, 
Townsend was one of those who petitioned 
Sir Henry Clinton for restoration to the status 
of a British citizen. After peace was restored 
Townsend was ordered banished and his 
estates were confiscated. 7 It is fairly certain 
that the former order was not put into execu- 
tion. Probably Townsend got off with a 12% 
amercement of his estate for having signed the 
petition. Even as late as 1791 he was still buy- 
ing property in Christ Church Parish. 8 
Townsend died on June 20, 1799. His age is 
not given in the obituary notice, which states 


simply that he was one of the oldest inhabit- 
ants of Christ Church Parish. 9 

There is no reason to suppose that Town- 
send was related to the celebrated family of 
cabinet-makers by that same name from 
Rhode Island. 10 

Tovmsend and Axson 

WORKING 1763-1768 

The copartnership (?) of Stephen Town- 
send and William Axson (#.*;.) was formed in 
1763. 1 Their shop was on die northeast corner 
of Tradd and Church Streets. In 1765 most 
of their shop was destroyed by a fire which 
occurred in the early morning hours. Their 
association terminated in 1768. After that 
time each worked in Charleston as an inde- 
pendent craftsman. 

John Tremain 


John Tremain is known from only one 
advertisement which appeared in the South 
Carolina Gazette for July 17, 1755: "JOHN 
TREMAIN takes this opportunity to inform 
the public, that he has set up his business of 
cabinet and coffin making, in Elliott-street; 
where those that please to employ him may 
be assured of having their work done in the 
neatest and cheapest manner. . . . Said Tre- 
imn is inclinable to take an apprentice for 
5, 6, or 7 years, if the boy be of a sober family, 
and well recommended." 

The records of the Register of Mesne Con- 
veyance do not reveal that he purchased any 
property during his stay in Charleston nor is 
his will filed in the Probate Court, 

Matthew Vanoll [Vamll] 

WORKING c. 1738-1742 

It is only by inference that the name of 
Matthew Vanoll can be included in this work. 
The following announcement appeared in the 
South Carolina Gazette on April 3, 1742: 
"Having been inform'd that for the future no 
License for retailing strong Liquors will be 
granted to Trades men in this Province, I find 

myself obliged to leave this Town, wherefore 
I desire all Persons indebted to me forthwith 
to discharge their respective Debts. N. B. I 
have a Press and a red Bay Corner Cupboard, 
also some Plank and Timber to be sold which 
I would work up if employed. Matthew 
VanolL" His statement that he has some plank 
and timber that he will work up, as well as 
having some articles of furniture for sale, leads 
naturally to the supposition that Vanoll ac- 
tually made furniture. A Matthew Vanall was 
one of the appraisers of the estate of Samuel 
Glaser on November 21, 1739. 1 As no other 
record of Vanoll can be found it is presumed 
that he left Charleston. 

John Vinyard 


Vinyard was probably the son of John 
Vinyard, a leather dresser. His name appears 
but once as a cabinet-maker. In the 1801 di- 
rectory he is shown as being at No. 181 Meet- 
ing Street It is thought that Vinyard moved 
to Orangeburg, South Carolina. On May 4, 
1806, at Orangeburg, a John Vinyard was 
married to Eliza Elliott Lestarjette. 1 In 1821 
Sanders Glover gave a power-of-attomey to 
John Vinyard. The instrument was made in 
the Orangeburg District. 2 


Robert Walker 

WORKING c. 1799-1833 

A native of Scotland, Robert Walker prob- 
ably came to Charleston as a young man. 

Walker was established in Charleston by 


1799; on September 13 of that year he was 
granted letters to administer the estate of 
John Gibson, a house carpenter. 1 By 1801 
Walker was working as an independent 
cabinet-maker at No. 57 Broad Street. 2 He 
must have been successful because on May 
21, 1806, he advertised in the Times for "Two 
Journeymen Cabinet-Makers." 

Walker appears to have been an active and 
successful cabinet-maker for the next thirty 
years. Being a good Scotsman he was admit- 
ted in 1801 to the St. Andrew's Society. On 
March 6, 1809, Walker purchased a lot on 

the east side of Meeting Street for "three 
thousand wo hundred dollars Sterling 
money." Two years later he purchased a lot 
on the west side of Church Street for $6,400. 3 
This property was adjacent to some which he 

already owned. 


On January 31, 1810, Walker advertised in 
the City Gazette and Daily Advertiser that 
he was removing u his Cabinet ware-room and 
work shop from No. 39 Church-street to No. 

19 Elliott street also [he had] Mahogany 

Boards, Plank Veneers, Satan [sic] Wood, 
Holly . . ." The mention of satinwood indi- 
cates that it was in demand and was being 
used by other cabinet-makers in Charleston. 
Walker has the distinction of being the 
only Charleston cabinet-maker whose label 
has survived (1955). A satinwood secretary 
and bookcase has a much faded though legible 
label still attached to it It reads: 

"Robert Walker 

Cabinet maker 

No. 53 Church Street, Charleston"; 
The directory shows him as being at No. 
53 Church Street between the years 1813 and 

Walker and Thomas Wallace, another 
Scottish cabinet-maker, appear to have been 
friends. Wallace in his will appointed Walker 
guardian of his infant children.* 

Walker died on July 30, 1833, at the age 
of sixty-one. His tombstone states that he was 
bora on January 24, 1772, at Cupar in Fife- 
shire, Scotland. 5 In his will he mentions his 
wife Margaret, his daughter Margaret, and 
his son James Walker. Apparently there were 
several other children.* His inventory, which 
included a great number of bant stocks, 
totaled over $37,000. T 

WUKm Walker 

WORKING 1801-1811 

Though William Walker and Robert 
Walker were contemporaries they do not 
seem to have been related. For several years 
William's shop is shown in the directories as 
being located on Hasell Street On November 
5, 1802, he purchased the lot on the southeast 
corner of Archdale and Beanfain Streets for 
550.* By 1806 his address is given as No. 12 


Archdale Street, doubtless the same property 
he had purchased a few years earlier. In 1807 
Walker and Peter Mood, a local silversmith, 
were sureties of the estate of George Dennis. 2 
Walker appears to have died intestate. His 
inventory, which was made by Jane Walker, 
administratrix, is dated July 5, 181 1. 3 

Thomas Wallace 
1758-1816 WORKING 1792-1816 

Another cabinet-maker of Scotch origin 
was Thomas Wallace, who was working in 
Charleston by 1790. In that year he formed a 
copartnership (?) with Charles Watts. Two 
years later the association was dissolved and 
Wallace started working by himself. In an 
advertisement in the City Gazette and Daily 
Advertiser of March 31, 1792, Wallace speaks 
of himself as a cabinet-maker and undertaker. 
There was nothing unusual in the combina- 
tion, for practically every cabinet-maker made 
coffins and many conducted funerals. Four 
years later Wallace advertised that he was 
moving his shop from Meeting Street to 
Church Street between Broad and Queen, 
and that "He has also on hand a quantity of 
ready made Furniture, among which are, a 
few dozen of fashionable Mahogany Chairs, 
which he will dispose of on lower terms than 
any in this city of the same quality." x If one 
cabinet-maker had a "few dozen" chairs, the 
number that must have been made in Charles- 
ton during this period, when approximately 
sixty cabinet-makers were working in the 

J o 

city, must have been prodigious. It is regret- 
table that so few have survived in and around 

Wallace prospered. In any event, he pur- 
chased several pieces of property in the city. 2 
He died on November 22, 1816, at the age of 
fifty-eight. Being a Scotsman he is buried in 
the graveyard of the Scots Church. His tomb- 
stone states that he was born in Ayreshire, 
Scotland. His wife was Agnes Rogers of 
Paisley. 8 In his will Wallace appoints Dr. 
Aaron W. Leland and Robert Walker, another 
cabinet-maker, as guardians to his three 
younger children until they reach the age of 
twenty-one. 4 The inventory of Wallace's per- 

sonal belongings lists one secretary and book- 
case, one set of mahogany chairs, and two ma- 
hogany bedsteads. One of the appraisers was 
Thomas Hfe, Jr. 5 

Wallace & Watts 

WORKING 1790-1791 

The announcement of the copartnership 
(?) between Thomas Wallace and Charles 
Watts appears in the City Gazette and Daily 
Advertiser on March 5, 1790. They speak of 
themselves as "Cabinet and Piano Forte Makers, 
From London," and advertise that "They 
have now on hand, an elegant assortment of 
cabinet furniture of the most modern taste, 
. . . Likewise harpsichords and piano fortes 
repaired." This partnership was of short dura- 
tion, for we find that the following year 
Watts announces that "he has moved to the 
corner of Broad-street and Market-Square, 
opposite the state house." 

Charl&s Warham 
1701-1779 WORKING 1733-c. 1767 

Originally from London by way of Boston, 
Charles Warham was in Charleston by 1733; 
on July 29 of that year his daughter Ann was 
baptized. 1 It is reasonable to assume that War- 
ham served his apprenticeship under one of 
the London cabinet-makers, emigrated to 
Boston and, not finding it to his liking, moved 
to Charleston. The city must have appealed 
to him for he worked here as a cabinet-maker 
for over forty years. 

Warham advertised in the South Carolina 
Gazette on November 2, 1734, that he was 
late from ""Boston N. England" and that he 
made "all sorts of Tables, Chests, Chest-of- 
drawers, Desks, Bookcases &c. As also Coffins 
of the newest fashion, never as yet made in 
Charlestown. . . ." It is interesting to conjec- 
ture just what Warham meant when he spoke 
of coffins of the newest fashion. 

Warham prospered to such an extent that, 
on January 1, 1740, he purchased from 
Ebenezer Simmons lots Nos. 87 and 88 on 
the north side of Tradd Street. Some years 
later he purchased lot No. 73 on the south 


Height 37 3 / 8 "; width 20" Height 37 %"; width 19M" 

Height 37'/ 2 "; width 21'/ 4 " Height 36'/ 2 "; width 21'/z" 




Height 31 %" 

Fig. 123 DETAIL OF CHAIR (we Fig. 127] 

Height 31" 

Fig. m DETAIL OF CHAIR (see Fig. 126) 


ARMCHAIR Height 38 3 / 4 "; width 21 JT Height 39"; width 21" 


Height 36%", width 22" Height 37>/ 4 "; wid 

; width 20/2" 

Fig. 130 TEA TABLE 
Height 285/ 10 "; diameter 34% 6 " 

Height 25 3 / 4 "; diameter 18 %" 

fig. 132 TEA TABLE 

Height 27 3 / 4 "; diameter 28i5/ 16 "x28>/ 4 " 

(see Fig. 132) 



















Fig. 136 COMMODE 

Height 30V,"; width 25ft"; depth 19>/ 2 " 

Height 18%"; width 25'/2"; depth 16 3 / t " 

Fig. 131 COMMODE, Open (see Fig. 136) 

*:- 'VWfi&^W^WiW 
A. toi * i/JrJtiU'U'i,;iru Vi-ie 


.. $ 

(see Page 133) 


* I 

r- 1 *H 

II \ 

* U 

bo o 

s * < 

5) a 


* : ^ j 













p ^5- 

fa ^ 



s ! 


ta Z 

to N 

o 9 






bC t5) . 

side of Tradd Street. 2 Warham was probably 
so well established by this time that he did 
not think it necessary to advertise. Little is 
known of his activities during the following 
years except that, according to the records, 
he occasionally purchased some additional 
property or a Negro slave. 

Early in his career Warham, being in need 
of some money, borrowed 150 current 
money from Solomon Legare, a local silver- 
smith, putting up as collateral his Negro boy 
named Boston, 8 a rather unusual name for a 
slave but undoubtedly given to him in recog- 
nition of Warham's former place of resi- 

Warham was elected a member of the 
South Carolina Society on June 29, 1756. He 
was a member of the Grand Jury in 1768 4 
and a member of the Petit Jury in 1774. 6 The 
given name of Warhanfs wife was Martha, 
whose surname is not known. They had 
several children, most of whom died young. 

Thomas Elfe purchased from Warham his 
riding chair and harness for 81. This trans- 
action took place in August 1769. 6 During his 
lifetime Warham acquired an appreciable 
amount of property. On October 16, 1776, he 
advertised in the South Carolina and Ameri- 
can General Gazette that he had for sale 5000 
acres of land. 

Warham died on July 20, 1779, at the age 
of seventy-nine. His tombstone records that 
he was born in London on May 23, 1701. T 


John Watson 

WORKING 1782-1812 

John Watson, another Scotsman, was work- 
ing in Charleston by 1790, being listed in the 
directory of that year as a cabinet-maker at 
No. 21 Tradd Street. 

The next notice concerning Watson occurs 
in 1796, when on July 9 he advertised in the 
City Gazette and Daily Advertiser that he 
was removing his shop to No. 21 King Street 
and that he also had on hand Dining, Card, 
and Breakfast Tables, "Secretary and Ward- 
robes, Wardrobes and Secretaries . . . Chest 
of Drawers; a few dozen of handsome Draw- 
ing and Chamber Room Chairs and Sofas. He 

makes up at the shortest notice . . . Venetian 
Blinds . . . done in a neat manner." 

Business was so good that in the following 
February Watson inserted another advertise- 
ment to the effect that he had procured the 
best workmen from Auld Reekie ^Edinburgh], 
London, and Paris^ and that "an Assortment 
of the most elegant Modern Furniture, of 
every description, . . . may be seen at his 
Depository, No. 21 King Street" 1 The use 
of the word "depository" would lead us to be- 
lieve that Watson had a warehouse and shop 
of large proportions. 

On January 1, 1798, Watson formed a co- 
partnership with his "step-son" [son-in-law] 
John A. Woodill under the firm name of 
Watson & Woodill at No. 21 King Street 2 
It is thought that this partnership lasted until 
Woodill's untimely death, which occurred in 

Watson was admitted as a member of die St 
Andrew's Society in 1792. In 1799 he took out 
his citizenship papers. 1 He must have owned 
his shop at No. 21 King Street In 1795 he 
executed a mortgage of 300 Sterling to 
Daniel Martin, giving as collateral a lot on 
the west side of King Street* 

The directories reveal that Watson con- 
tinued in business on King Street until his 
death on December 10, 1812. 5 

Watson is buried in St Michael's church- 
yard. According to his tombstone, he was 
sixty-one years of age, "a native of Mussill- 
borough, Scotland, but for 30 years past a re- 
spectable inhabitant of this place." If Watson 
had been a resident of Charleston for thirty 
years, he must have come over immediately 
after the British occupation of Charleston; 
perhaps he came with one of the Scotch 
Regiments and decided to remain and try his 
fortune in the new country. 


William Wtison 

WORKING c. 1723-1736 

One of Charleston's earliest furniture 
makers, William Watson is always spoken of 
as a joiner. He and Mary Kemp were married 
on September 26, 1723. 1 It is reasonable to 
assume that Watson was working in Charles- 
ton before his marriage. That he was sac- 


cessful in his trade is manifested by his being 
able to purchase lots Nos. 236 and 237 and 
also part of lot No. 115 from John Arnold on 
March 20, 1729. 2 He purchased these lots be- 
fore some of the streets had names. For in- 
stance, the first two lots were described as 
being "on a street that leadeth from the 
White Point to the high Road"; the other as 
"fronting the street that leadeth to ashley 
river running the whole breadth there." 

Watson was buried on August 10, 1736. 3 In 
his will he mentions his wife Mary and his 
daughters, Ann and Mary, and a daughter 
Elizabeth residing in Boston. 4 It is probable 
that Elizabeth was a daughter by an earlier 

On August 14, 1736, Mrs. Watson inserted 
the following advertisement in the South 
Carolina Gazette: "Notice is hereby given, 
That the Business lately carried on by Wm: 
Watson deceased will be continued by his 
Widow, who has a considerable stock of 
fresh goods of all sorts necessary for Funerals, 
and Workmen fully capable of making 
Coffins and Cabinet ware, she has also ready 
made and to be sold cheap, Tables Chests of- 
drawers, Buroes &c." It would be interesting 
to ascertain whether Mrs. Watson succeeded 
in her business venture. Unfortunately the 
answer does not appear in the records. 

Watson & Wooditt 

WORKING 1798-1805 

The only thing known about this partner- 
ship is contained in an advertisement in the 
City Gazette and Daily Advertiser for Janu- 
ary I, 1798: "John Watson, Cabinet-maker 
and Upholsterer ... on the first day of 
January next, . . . intends to take into 
partnership his step-son [son-in-law] Mr. 
John A. Woodifl ... the above mentioned 
business will be carried on by them, in all its 
various branches, under the firm of Watson 
and Woodill at its present shop No. 21 King 
Street . . . Wanted a complete workman in 
the Cabinet Branch." 

No. 21 King Street was the location of the 
shop of John Watson. The partnership seems 
to have lasted until about 1805, the year of 
Woodill's death. 



Charles Watts 

WORKING 1790-c. 1803 

The date of Charles Watts' arrival at 
Charleston is not known. In 1790 he formed 
a partnership with Thomas Wallace. The as- 
sociation was of short duration, for on July 
19, 1791, Watts advertised in the City Gazette 
and Daily Advertiser as an independent crafts- 
man, and informed his friends that he had 
moved to the corner of Broad Street and 
Market Square opposite the State House. In 
addition to saying that he was a cabinet-maker 
he stated that he repaired harpsichords, forte 
pianos, and spinets. 

Watts' shop was destroyed by one of 
Charleston's innumerable fires. In 1795 he 
moved to Church Street, explaining that "he 
has again got his Business in a regular train 
(since his disaster by the late fire) and has for 
sale a variety of Cabinet Furniture." l In the 
following year his shop was again destroyed 
by fire (the great conflagration of 1796) but 
undaunted, Watts re-established his shop, this 
time on lower Church Street. In his advertise- 
ment which appeared in the City Gazette and 
Daily Advertiser on July 19, 1796, Watts 
states that he is residing at John Milligan's, No. 
6 Bedon's Alley "where he has for sale, A 
Variety of Cabinet Furniture, The following 
of which are a part, viz. Sideboards of dif- 
ferent kinds, Sets of Dining Tables, Card and 
Tea Tables, Ladies Commodes, Dressing 
Chest Drawers, Ward-robes; Secretaries and 
Desks, and Book Cases." 

In spite of his misfortunes, Watts pros- 
pered. In 1796 he purchased a lot on the west 
side of Church Street from Mrs. Mary Mag- 
dalen Grimball for 650. The following year 
he bought, from John Cordes Prioleau, a brick 
house and lot for 400 Sterling. This was 
also on the west side of Church Street and 
next to his property. In later years Watts 
must have been successful, for he not only 
added to his holdings on Church Street but 
also purchased a lot on Broad Street. 2 

His name appears for the last time in the 
directory of 1803. His will, dated April 2, 
1808, states that he is "now residing in Liver- 
pool City of Lancaster." To his wife Catherine 
he left all of his plate and household furni- 

tore. It was specified that his property in 
South Carolina was to be rented out and kept 
at interest until his son Charles became 
twenty-one. Watts also had a daughter named 
Helen. His will was probated on November 
30, 1811, presumably shortly after his death. 3 
The inventory of his estate shows that it con- 
sisted mostly of stocks and bonds, with some 
notes from several local cabinet-makers. 4 

Watts <& Walker 


The name of the firm of Watts and Walker 
appears only in the directory of 1802, at 
which time they are listed as cabinet-makers 
at No. 39 Church Street. The two partners 
(?) were Charles Watts and Robert Walker. 
Why the association was not continued is not 

William Wayne 


Either there were several William Waynes 
in Charleston during the same period or 
Wayne had a proclivity for changing his 
occupation. The first record that we have of 
any William Wayne is on November 15, 
1764. At that time William Wayne, painter, 
and Catherine his wife, executed a mortgage 
to William Hall, carpenter, for 1600 lawful 
money. 1 The next five years are a blank. Then 
comes an advertisement which appeared in the 
"Pennsylvania Chronicle [Philadelphia] on 
February 20, 1769: "Dissolution of partner- 
ship between Robert Moore, cabinet and 
chairmaker and William Wayne he [Moore] 
now carries on the business on his own ac- 
count." 2 The records of the Register of 
Mesne Conveyance Office in Charleston reveal 
that on April 5, 1769, William Wayne, 
cabinet-maker, executed a mortgage to 
Susannah Hall, Executrix of William Hall, 
carpenter, for 2100 at 8% per annum. 3 This 
is apparently the same William Hall who 
loaned the money in 1764 to William Wayne, 
painter. Three months later there is a bill of 
sale from William Wayne, painter, to Daniel 

Bourdeaux, for a three-quarters share of a 
schooner called Catherine* 

To further complicate matters, on April 16, 
1770 the Grand Jury presented "William 
Wayne Tavern keeper up the path for keeping 
a disorderly House and secreting and enter- 
taining youth to the corruption of their Morals 
and loss of Service to their Masters upon in- 
formation of John Bremar Esquire," Wayne 
appeared in Court and declared that he was 
ready to have the matter tried by a jury. He 
was released under bond of 50 "proclama- 
tion money of America." 5 The ultimate out- 
come of the trial is unknown. In June of the 
same year Thomas Elf e lent "William Wayne 
of his Bond this day 300." 6 Wayne and Hfe 
had numerous business transactions during the 
next five years. OccasionaDy Elf e would pur- 
chase linseed oil from Wayne; at another rime 
he paid Wayne 13 for a frame of an Easy 
Chair. 7 

On February 14, 1778, Paul Townsend sold 
to William Wayne, planter, a lot on the west 
side of Bedon's Alley. 8 The following year 
Mary FJfe sold to William Wayne, merchant, 
a lot on the south side of Broad Street.* 

Thus we have the name of a William 
Wayne listed as being a painter, cabinet- 
maker, tavern keeper, merchant, and planter. 
How much cabinet-making was actually done 
by a William Wayne is not indicated. 

George Welch 

WORKING c. 1804-1819 

The marriage of George Welch to Mrs. 
Christiana Smith, widow, took place on 
October 10, 1804. 1 In the 1806 directory he 
is listed as an independent cabinet-maker at 
No. 21 Pincknev Street. 


With the exception of the baptismal 
records 2 of two of his children nothing further 
is recorded about Welch before 1819. In that 
year his address is given as Charlotte Street, 
which was then outside the city limits. There- 
after he disappears completely. 

John Welch 

WORKING 1806-1819 

Although they were contemporaries, it can- 


not be said with certainty that John and 
George Welch were related. Like George, 
John's name is listed for the first time in the 
1806 directory. By 1819 he is Iked both as 
superintendent of the city burying ground 
and as a cabinet-maker. After that time he 
appears to have devoted his entire time to 
supervising the "Burial Ground." 

The Health Department Records reveal 
that a John Welch was buried in December 
1832. This may have been the former cabinet- 

John M. Werner 


John M. Werner's name appears in but one 
directory, that of 1819, when he is shown as 
being a cabinet-maker on Pinckney Street 
Nothing is known of his work or of his later 

Weymm 6- Carne 

WORKING 1764-1766 

The copartnership of Edward Weyman and 
John Came (q.v.) was formed in 1764. On 
March 31 of that year they advertised at 
length in the South Carolina Gazette that they 
were opening their shop on Queen Street 
where "any of the several branches of 
CABINET-MAKING" would be done at 
tfaeir "LCK)KING-GLA3S shop." Weyman 
was a maker and importer of looking glass 
and it is unlikely that he made any furniture. 
Carne was a cabinet-maker and undoubtedly 
was the one who made the furniture. Their 
association lasted about two years. On De- 
cember 2, 1766, Weyman advertised by him- 
self, explaining "That he still continued the 
Cabinet and Chair Work business, for which 
purpose he has furnished himself with good 
workmen . , ." l Unfortunately, the names 
of the men who worked for him are not 

Benjmm Wheeler 


After the capitulation of Charleston during 

the Revolution, a Benjamin Wheeler was one 
of the persons sent aboard one of the horrible 
British prison ships anchored in Charleston 
harbor. The prisoner is thought to have been 
the cabinet-maker. A few months later 
Wheeler's family, along with many others, 
was banished to Philadelphia. 1 On May 8, 
1784, an obituary notice appeared in the South 
Carolina Weekly Gazette reporting the death 
of Benjamin Wheeler, cabinet-maker. In his 
will, which was made on April 13, 1784, and 
probated the following month, Wheeler ap- 
pointed two cabinet-makers, Thomas Cooke 
and Henry Gaskins, as his executors. 2 

Charles White 


White may have been an itinerant cabinet- 
maker. His name appears in the 1807 direc- 
tory as a cabinet-maker at No. 36 Broad 
Street. After that there is no further trace of 

George White 


In the 1813 directory George White is 
listed as a cabinet-maker at No. 120 Church 
Street Three years later, though he is listed 
at the same address, his occupation is given as 
that of a joiner. Since no other record of him 
can be found in Charleston, it is thought that 
he moved to some other locality. 


Gottleib White 

WORKING 1809-1822 

The spelling of White's given name seems 
to have caused him endless trouble. Frequently 
it was spelled Gotdys and once it appears as 
Gudlip. In the directory for 1809 his address 
is given as No. 36 Broad Street. In 1811 White 
and his wife Matilda transferred some prop- 
erty on Johns Island to William Champlin and 
Joseph Maxey. 1 From the deed it appears that 
the property had been inherited by Matilda 
from her former husband. White was still 
working as a cabinet-maker in 18 19. 2 His 
death occurred in December, 1822. The 

Health Department Records state that he was 
sixty years of age, that he was born in Ger- 
many, and that he died of consumption. 

1802 directory. It is probable that the two 
partners were Mathew Will and William 

Jedidiah Whitney 


Jedidiah Whitney is listed in the 1813 di- 
rectory as a cabinet-maker at No. 1 St Philip 
Street. In the directory for 1819 he is still 
shown as being on St Philip Street, but his 
occupation is given as that of a carpenter. 
While it is purely a supposition, it is just pos- 
sible that Whitney may have been forced to 
change his occupation because so much mass- 
produced furniture was being brought into 
Charleston at that time. 

John Williams 


John Williams, aged thirty, "Cabinet" 
[maker], sailed from London during the third 
week of January, 1774, on the ship Carolina, 
bound for Carolina (Le., Charleston) "for 
employment" * As there is no record of the 
Carolina having been lost at sea, Williams 
must have landed in Charleston some time 
during the spring of 1774. However, there is 
no record of his having worked as a cabinet- 
maker here. 

George Wilkie 

WORKING c. 1786 

The only thing known about George 
Wilkie is that on January 12, 1787, letters 
were granted to Thomas Mell, planter, to ad- 
minister the estate of George Wilkie, cabinet- 
maker. 1 The inventory of Wilkie's estate, 
which was taken the following month, 
amounted to 2 1. 2 

Mather Will 

WORKING 1801-1806 

Nothing is known of Mathew Will's activi- 
ties as a cabinet-maker. In the 1801 directory 
he is listed as being at No. 205 Meeting Street 
The following years he appears to have 
formed a copartnership (?) with William 
Marlin. This copartnership could not have 
been of long duration, for by 1806 Will is 
again listed as an independent cabinet-maker 
at No. 41 Trott [Wentworth] Street There 
is no further record of him. 

Will & Marlm 


The copartnership (?) of Will and Mariin 
seems to have been of short duration. The 
name of Will and Mariin appears only in the 

-c. 1808 

John Wilson 

WORKING 1790-1807 

Although John Wilson worked in Charles- 
ton as a cabinet-maker for many years very 
little is known about his activities. What 
seems to be his only advertisement appeared 
in the Chy Gazette and Dotty Advertiser of 
March 18, 1790, wherein it is stated that he 
has tt Some very elegant mahogany furniture 
for sale, consisting of breakfast and dining 
Tables, bedsteads, a very elegant commode 
chest of drawers" and that he was at the sign 
of the Cradle and Coffin at No. 217 Meeting 

In 1794 Wilson purchased a lot on the east 
side of Meeting Street from William dark- 
son. 1 He appears to have resided there for the 
rest of his life, for the various directories list 
him as a cabinet-maker on Meeting Street 

It is not known when Wilson died His 
name appears for the last time in the directory 
of 1807. On December 24, 1808, Samuel Stine 
married Barbara Wilson, "daughter of the kte 
John Wflson, Cabinet Maker, of this city/ 7 * 
Strangely enough his inventory, will, and 
letters of administration cannot be found. 

John Anthony WoodSl 
-1805 WORKING 1801-1805 

John Anthony WoodiH started working in 


1798 with his father-in-law, John Watson, 
under the firm name of Watson & Woodill. 
The partnership did not last very long. By 
1801, Woodill is Iked in the directory of that 
year as being on Lynch's Lane. On April 7, 
1801, Woodill purchased a lot on the east side 
of King Street for 440 Guineas. In the same 
year he was admitted to the St. Andrew's 

It is thought that Woodill died as a young 
man. His will was made on February 7, 1805, 
and probated the following month. His wife, 
Susannah, was named executrix. 


Thomas Woodin 

WORKING 1766-c 1770 

Thomas Woodin, besides being a cabinet- 
maker, was also a carver and a teacher of 
drawing. The first record we have of him is 
dated 1766, when he was paid 36 out of the 
General Tax for plans for the Exchange, at 
the east end of Broad Street 1 

On September 7, 1767, Woodin inserted 
the following advertisement in the South 
Carolina Gazette; And Country Journal: 
"THOMAS WOODIN Carver and Cabinet- 
Maker, teaches Drawing in all its Branches at 
the same place* . . . AND has to sell on the 
most reasonable terms some curious mahogany 
work, vk Desks, and Book-Cases with glass 
doors, Ladies Dressing-Tables, with all the 
useful apparatus; Chinese Bamboo Tea-Tables, 
and Kitchen Stands, &c. . . ," The sale of 
the Chinese Tea Tables indicates that at this 
time the Chinese influence was still strong in 

Woodin prospered sufficiently to purchase 
in 1770 a Negro, Betty, and her son Jack, for 
400 current money. 2 It is thought that about 
this time Woodin gave up cabinet-making 
and procured an appointment as "weigher 
and gauger of his Majesty's Customs." This 
must have been a fairly lucrative position, for 
it enabled Woodin, during the next four 
years, to purchase considerable property along 
the Edisto River, 5 

Woodin's death occurred on July 26, 
1774. 4 In his will he requests that he be buried 
next to his wife in St. Michael's churchyard. 


He also says that he forgives his son John Ash 
for his misconduct and leaves him some 
property, household furniture, and working 
tools. 5 It is not known what John did to incur 
his father's wrath. 

Joseph Worthington 

WORKING 1793- 

On July 8, 1793, Joseph Worthington, 
cabinet-maker, and Miss Betsey Arnold, 
"lately arrived from Cork," were married. 1 
This is the first knowledge that we have of 
Worthington's being in Charleston. In 1793 
he formed a copartnership (?) with Kirby. 
This association lasted two months. Imme- 
diately afterwards Worthington formed an- 
other copartnership (?) with Sinclair. It is 
not known how long this partnership lasted. 
In the directory of 1801 Worthington is 
listed as an upholsterer. His name appears for 
the last time in the directory of 1806, still as 
an upholsterer. Nothing is known of his subse- 
quent career. 

Worthington & Kirby 


This copartnership (?) was of short dura- 
tion. Worthington and Kirby advertised on 
January 1, 1793, in the City Gazette and Daily 
Advertiser that they were "lately from Lon- 
don" and that they would do "Cabinet Work 
and Upholstery in General"; they also adver- 
tised "Funerals furnished on the shortest 
notice." In the following month Kirby disap- 
pears, to be replaced by Sinclair. 

Worthington & Sinclair 

WORKING 1793-? 

Sinclair replaced Kirby as the partner (?) 
of Worthington. In the advertisement telling 
of his association with Worthington, Sinclair if 
spoken of as being from Edinburgh. 1 It is not 
known how long they remained together, nc 
notice having been discovered of the dissolu- 
tion of the partnership. 

see Fig. 102) 

(see Frontispiece) 

145 DETAIL OF CHAIR (see Fig. 121) Fig. 146 THISTLE INLAY (see Fig. 106) 







After the manuscript had been sent to the 
printer, the Charleston Museum acquired a 
very fine clothespress. Examination revealed 
that it bore a label of Robert Walker, a 
Charleston cabinet-maker (see Fig. 139). That 
the label was tacked in place instead of being 
glued on probably accounts for the fact that 
it has not been destroyed by glue-eating in- 
sects. So far this is only the second known 
labeled piece of Charleston-made furniture. 
Strangely enough, the only other known label 
also bears the name of Robert Walker (<?.*>.) 
Most interesting, however, is that with the 
exception of the drawer sides, which are of 
poplar, all of the secondary wood is of white 
pineconclusive evidence that Charleston 
cabinet-makers of the late eighteenth and early 
nineteenth century did use white pine in the 
construction of their furniture (see White 

It was during the last decade of the eight- 
eenth and the first decade of the nineteenth 
century that the greatest number of cabinet- 
makers worked in Charleston. Apparently 
there was such a demand for furniture during 
this period that the cabinet-makers had diffi- 
culty in supplying the needs of their cus- 
tomers. In endeavoring to meet his needs 
Charles Watts (q.v.) inserted the following 
advertisement in The Diary (New York 
City) on January 28, 1797: 

'Wanted from 8 to 15 Journeymen Cabinet 
and Chair-Makers, to go to Charleston, South 
Carolina where they will receive generous 
encouragement for further particulars, apply 
to Captain Joseph Baker, on board the Sloop 
Romeo, laying at the Coffee House Slip. 

"I hereby oblige myself to pay to any good 
workman, who is capable of doing the general 
run of Cabinet-work seventy-five percent 
advance on the New London book of Cabinet 
prices, published in 1793. I will also advance 
the passage money for whoever chuses to 
come in the above line; and find work for 
any, or all, of the above number, for 6, 9, or 
12 months; board, or find them it at 3- l / 2 dol- 
lars per week. The money for the work shall 
be paid weekly, or when each job is finished. 
Charles Watts, Cabinet-Maker, Charleston." * 

Two very interesting things can be deduced 
from the advertisement: first, the large num- 
ber of cabinet- and chair-makers that any one 
cabinet-maker needed for his business (there 
were approximately sixty cabinet-makers 
working in Charleston at that time); second, 
the prosperity of Charleston and vicinity 
which made it possible for Watts to pay 
wages that were "seventy-five per cent ad- 
vance" over the published tariff. 

iTbc Arts and Crafts in New York ITTl-lW. 
R. S. Gottesman, New-York Historical Society, 1954, 
p. 130. 




wv*.ouk TO 


* l> J~JlxT" J *v^. 






Dir.: Directory. 

MCO: Register of Mesne Conveyance Office- 
PC: Office of the Judge of Probate Court. 
SCG: South Carotin* Gazette. 
SCHM: South Carolina Historical and Genedo&cal 
Magazine and South Carolina Historical 

USDC: United States District Court at Charleston, 

Early Charleston, 1 McCrady, Hist, of S. C, Vol. I, 
95. 2 Wallace, Shan Hist, of S.C, 335. 'Lawson, 
History, riii, xv. * Carroll, Hist. Coll. of S. C, 
VoL H 128, 129. Sellers, Cbas. Business on the 
Eve of the Amer, Rev^ 4. 6 Bridenbaugh, Myths, 
67. 'Phillips, Hist, of Transportation, 49. ^ve- 
nd, Cite, the Place and the People, 385. gar- 
rison], John's Island Stud. 10 Mercness, Travels in 
the Amer. Colomes-1690-lW. Bowes, Culture 
of Early Chas^ 3, 10. 12 Jones, Amer. Members of 
the Inns of Court, xzvii. 

Sources of Furniture: Charleston Cabinet-makers, 

* Mills, Stat. of S. C, 427. 2 SCHM , Vok 35-42. 
English Importations. 1 Letter from Her Majesty's 

Customs & Excise, London, Feb. 9, 1953. * Werten- 
berger, Golden Age of Colonial Culture, 134. 

* SCG, Apr. 9-16, 1741; 2/2. * "Neptune' 1 Chart 
of Charles Town, 1777; London Magazine, June, 
1762 (Cbas. Year Book, 1882, 341). 5 Sellers, Chas. 
Business on the Eve of the Amer. Rev^ 4. Bowes, 
Culture of Early Cbss, 10. * Wallace, Hist, of 
S. O, VoL I, 396. "Carroll, Hist. ColL of S. C, 
VoL n, 230. 9 Symonds, The English Export 
Trade (Antiques, Oct 1935, 156). "PC, Inv. 
Book 67-A, 1732-1746, 189. "Dir. 1790, 48. 
12 Dir. 1822, 41. 

American Importations. 1 5CG, Apr. 13, 1769; 1/1. 
*lKd. Jan. 24, 1774; 2/3. 3 Downs, Amer. Fwnz, 
xxviii; Bridenbaugh, Myths, 59. 4 Swan, Samuel 
Mclntire, 6. 5 S. C. State Ga&> June 20, 1797; 3/L 
S. C. Gaz. and Gen. Adv, Jan. 13, 1784 [Prime]. 
7 Chas. City Gaz. and Adv^ Nov. 29, 1798 [Prime], 

* City Gaz. and Comm. Adv^ Jan. 1, 1819; 1/5, 3/2. 
9 Ibid. Jan. 1, 1819; 3/3. 10 /#i Mar. 27, 1819; 3/3. 
n Moore, Hitch cock Cham. SCHM, VoL 43, 69. 
Antiques, June 1941, 311. w Courier, Jan, 4, 
1832; 1/3. 

Other Importations. l City Gaz. md Daily 
Feb. 3, 1798; 3/L * JMi May 16, 1798; 3/3. 

Negro Cabinet-Makers. * Wills, Inv. & Mel. Rec n 
VoL 62-A, 172^-1731, 27. * C. and Amer. 
Gen. Gaz^ June 1, 1771. * State Gaz. of S. C, 
Dec. 11, 1783; 2/3. * Courier, Nov. 16, 1824. 
s/Wi Sept, 22, 1828. 

Kinds of Furniture Used in Charleston. ! Inv. Book 
VoL 87-A, I76W763, 137, a Inv. Book VoL 94-A, 
1771-1776, 45. *Inv. Book VoL 94, 1771-1774, 251. 

Kinds of Furniture Not Made in Charleston. 

1 MiDer, Amer. Antique Far*, VoL 1, 381. 
Styles and Influences. ^CG, Aug. 12, 1732 [Prime]. 

2 Bowes, Culture of Early Cbas^ 93. 3 Letter from 
the Dean of the School of Architecture, Columbia 
Umversity, iuL, Rec'd Dec. 13, 1952; and AIA. 
*SCHM, VoL 47, 180. * Crcvecoeur, Letters from 
an Amer. Farmer. Bowes, Culture of Early 
Cbas^ 64. 'Drayton, Viea of S. C, 217. Wri- 
te, Hist, of S. C, Vol. E, 353. Uancourt, 
Travels through the U. S, VoL 1, 558. Ravenel, 

the Place and the People, 365. M Adams, 

Hist, of Trans^ 45; Gray, Hist, of Agri. in the Sou. 
States, Vols. I and IL 1J Albion, The Rise of 
N. Y. Port, 95. "Antiques, June 1941, 31L 

E^x>ns and Country Trade. 1 SCG, Mar, 14, 1768. 
2 Columbian Museum and Savamab Daily Gtxz^ 
June 19, 1817; 3/3; Jan. 7, 1819; 3/L 'Easterby, 
Journal of Sou. Hist, VoL VH 164. 'Easterby, 
S. C. Rice Plantation, 362. * Cbas. Year Book, 1883, 
427. Cole , Wbolesde Cm. Prices in the V. S, 1100- 
1861, 154. 7 SCHM, VoL 43, 83. 8 Papers of CoL 
John Chestnut in the S. C. Hist, Soc. 'Phillips, 
Hist, of Trans, 135. 10 Inf. from Charles Navis, 
Antique Dealer in Richmond, Va. 

Prices of Furniture, iBrackett, Thomas Chippen- 
dale, 112. SCHM, VoL 40, 61. s Vol. 100, 1776- 
1784, 145. *Easterby, S. C. Rice Plantation, 363. 

Dearth of Local Furniture. 1 Chas. Year Book, 1880, 
307. * Smith, Dwelling Houses of Chas^ 155. 
*SCG, Mar. 15-22, 1740; 3/L Baltimore Furm- 
tare, 14. 

Woods. ' CoU. of the S. C. Hist. Soc^ VoL V, 444. 
Carroll, Hist. Coll. of C., VoL H 63. *Letter 
from Dr. J. H. Easterby, S. G Hisc Comaou, Nov. 
16,1951. <VoL 100,1776-1784,84. 

West Indian Mahogany. 1 Letter from George N. 
Lamb, Sec^ Mahogany Asso^ Chicago, Jan. 2, 195L 
*SCG, Aug. 12, 1732 [Prime}. 'PC, Inv. Book 
58, 1722-1724, 392. *SCG, Feb. 25-Mar. 1, 1749; 


Mar. 19-26, 1750. Cbas. Morn. Post and Daily 

Adv^ Sept. 6, 1786; 3/4. * Antiques, Oct. 1942, 

212, tClty Gaz. and Cam. Adv^ Mar. 27, 1819; 

Honduras Mahogany. 1 5CG, Mar. 29-Apr. 4, 1740; 

3/3. 2 State Gaz. of S. C, Dec. 20, 1787; 1/1. 

4 Downs, Amer. Furn., xxx. 
Southern Red Cedar. * Little, Important Forest 

Trees of the U. S., 774. * Lawson, Htft, 55. 3 PC, 

lav. Book 58, 1722-1724, 146. *PC, Inv. Book 65, 

1732-1736, 112. 
Walnut. * Elliott, Botany of S. C. and Ga., Vol. I, 

622. 2 PC, Inv. Book 58, 1722-1724, 146. s PC, Inv, 

Book 64, 1732-1736, 342. * Carroll, Hist. Coll of 

S. C., Vol. II, 237. 
Cypress. *SCHM, Vol. 38, 133; Vol. 35, 61. 

2 Browne, Sylva Americana, 146. 
Red Bay. * Catesby, Natl Hist, of Carolina, Vol. I, 

63. 2Michaux, N. A. Sylva, Vol. II, 150. 8 PC, 

Inv. Book 74, 1746-1748, 348. 
White Kne. * State Gaz. of S. C., Sept 1, 1788; 1/1. 

*Tbe Times, Dec. 19, 1801; 3/1. *Ibid. Dec. 31, 

1801; 3/3. *City Gaz, Mar. 1, 1805; 3/3. 
Southern Red Maple. iPC, Inv. Book 65, 1732-1736, 

112, 113. 
White Oak ^Baltimore Furniture, 16. 2 Letter to 

Charleston Museum, May 16, 1951. 
Sweet Gum. * Lawson, Hist^ 54. *PC, Inv. Book 

79, 1751-1753, 489, 518, 
White Ash. * SCHM, VoL 36, 64, 84. 
Mulberry. * PC, Inv. Book 74, 1746-1748, 22. 
Holly. iDraytxra, Caroljman Florist, 103. 
Beds. *VoL 61-A, 1726-1727, 24. 2 VoL 79, 1751- 

1753, 84. s lnv. Book C, 1789^-1800, 125. 
Double Chests of Drawers. *VoL 94-A, 1771-1774, 

45. 2SCG, July 9, 1772 [Prime]. 'Vol. <$5, 1732- 

1736, 175. 
Qothespresses. 1 Cescinsky, Old-World House, 91. 

Tables. * Brackett, Thomas Chippendale, 122. 2 Homer, 
Philadelphia FUTTL, 140. s Lav. Book VoL 73, 1741- 
1743, 63. * Burroughs, Southern Antiques, 79. 
5 SCG, July 9, 1772. Downs, Amer. Furn, xxiiL 
'Jonrdain, Regency Fura, 24. 8 Inv. Book, VoL 
62-B, 1729-1731, 520. 9 SCG, Mar. 22, 1740 [Prime]. 
10 5CG, Dec. 5, 1774; 3/3. C% Gaz. & Com. 
DaUy Adv^ May 14, 1810; 3/2. "Din 1807, 22. 
13 Downs, Amer. Furn^ 334. 

Side Chairs. *VoL 65, 1732-1736, 113. 2 Vol. 
62-B, 1729-1731, 768. 35CG, Aug. 12, 1732 [Prime]. 
*5CG, Aug. 8, 1771 [Prime]. SCG, July 9, 1772 
[Prime]. 'SCHM, VoL 35, 20. * S. C. State Gas., 
Oct. 3 1,1795 [Prime]. 

French Chairs or Armchairs. x Inv. Book, 1783-1797, 

Windsor Chairs. *VoL 65, 1732-1736, 424. *SCG, 

Jan. 19, 1759; 2/2. 3 Courier, Jan. 4, 1832; 1/3. 

* Chapman, Hist, of Edgefield, 192. 5 Pern. Museum 

Bull, Nov. 1925, 37. 
Sofas, Couches, and Settees, ifciv. Book 73, 1741- 

1743,60. 2 5^MagrathandElfe. 
Sideboards. iberlein and McClure, Practical Book 

of Period Furn^ 219; Lockwood, Colonial Furn^ 

VoL I, 18. 2 Hopkins, Sheraton Period, Fig. 35. 

s Inv. Book C, 1785M800, 38. *S. C. State Gaz., 

Oct. 31, 1795, 190 [Prime]. s Chas. City Gaz. & 

Adv., Dec. 10, 1796; 1/1; July 19, 1796, 202 [Prime]. 

e Bolt. Furn., 17. 7 Jourdain & Rose, English Furn., 

185. 8$CHM,VoL41,65. 
Knife Cases and Urns. 1 Inv. Book, 1783-1797, 499. 

2 Antiques, Oct. 1934, 133. 3 Antiques, Dec. 1934, 

Wine Coolers and Cellarettes. 1 Inv. Book 100, 1776- 

1784, 382. 2 Inv. Book 1783-1797, 499; Inv. Book 

D, 180(M810, 97, 476. 8 Inv. Book 100, 1776-1784, 

7. *Whilden, Reminiscences, (Chas. Year Book, 

1896, 411). 

Corner Cupboards. *Li7. Book 79, 1751-1753, 246. 
Desk and Bookcases; and Secretary and Bookcases. 

iSCG, Jan. 27, 1732. *Ibid. Mar. 22, 1740. s lnv. 

Book 67-A, 1732-1746, 124. *Inv. Book 79, 1751- 

1753,509. sCescinsky, Old-World House, Vol. n, 

336. Hepplewhite, Guide (1794), 8. 7 Times, 

Nov. 2, 1801; 3/1. 
Bookcases. J Bowes, Cult, of Early Chas., 60. 2 Inv. 

Book 87-A, 1761-1763, 123. 3 Inv. Book 94-A, 

1771-1774, 112. 

docks. * SCHM, VoL 41, 153. 
Inlays and Bellflowers. Inv. Book 100, 1776-1784, 

156. 2 Times, May 23, 1805; 3/2. 
Japanned Furniture, ilnv. Book 60, 1724-1725, 65. 

2 Inv. Book 61-B, 1726-1727, 542. 'Cfcy Gaz. fr 

Dally Adv. 4 Lockwood, Colonial Furn., VoL I, 

Brasses. *SCG, Dec. 18, 1749; Oct. 14, 1756. 

2 Times, Dec, 11, 1801. 

Polishes. iSCHAf, VoL 35, 20. 2Cescinsky, Old- 
World House, Vol. H, 344. *SCHM, VoL 43, 32. 
Allen, Josiah. *MCO, Book B-8, 411. 2$CHM,Vol. 

34, 102. 

Archbald, Robert. 1 USDC, Citizens Book A. 
Artman, John. * Letters of Adm. (Intestate), 1815- 

1819, 291. 
Axson, William. *SCG, Feb. 12, 1763 [Prime]. 

2 SCG, Sept. 21-28, 1765; 3/3. 8 S. C. Gaz. & 

Country Journal, Apr. 26, 1768 [Prime]. *SCG, 

Apr. 25, 26, 1768 [Prime]. *SCHM, Vol. 45, 171. 

Ravenel, Architects of Charleston, 26. * Reg. St. 

Thomas and St. Denis's Parish, 26. *llruL 48. 

Easterby, S. C. Society, 106. SCHM, VoL 53, 

15. nSCHM, VoL 33, 282. ^Ibid. VoL 34, 78. 

i* State Gaz. of S. C, June 2, 1788. 


Badger, Jonathan. ^CO, Book OC, 76. McL 
Rec., Vol. 75-B, 1746-1749, 705. 3 MCO, Book SS, 
126. * /Mi 313. *SCHM, Vol. 38, 34. Account 
of Payment of Gen. Tax 1760-1769, 73, 94, 103, 
104 (Museum Library). ^SCHM, Vol. 27, 91. 
8 Journal of Ct of Gen. Sessions, 1769-1776, 51 
(Museum Library). Md Reo, VoL 91-B, 1767- 
1771,677. 10 MCO, Book M-4, 106. 

Barker, Thomas. * Mel. Rec n VoL 53, 1692-1693, 247. 
2 SCHM, VoL 8 y 167. Ibid. VoL 14, 59. 

Barksdale, Charles. iMOO, (Abst) Book DD, 253. 
2 SCHM, VoL 20, 68. 8 Mel. Rec n VoL 75-A, 1746- 
1749, 158. ^ MCO, Book SS, 229. *SCHM, VoL 
21, 74. Will Book 13, 1767-1771, 873. T Inv. 
Book 84, 1756-1758, 355. 

Barrite, Gerred E. 'MCO, Book 0-9, 154. 2 /Mi 
Book G-10, 316. 

Baylis, William. x MCO, Book T-^S, 38. 

Beamer, James. * Wills, Inv. & McL Rec., VoL 53, 
1692-1693,206. * SCHM , VoL 14, 4. 8 Wffl Book 
1, 1671-1724, 25. 

Becais, Claude, * Citizens Book 4-H, 223. (S. G 
Archives Dept, Columbia, S. C) 

Besseleu, Lewis. * Reg. St . Thames, 50. 2 Letters of 
AdnL, 1827-1833, 67. 

Binsky, Martin. a Sf. Philip's Par. Reg. 1720-1158, 
190. * Will Book 8, 1757-1763, 180. "JOT. Book, 
Vol. 84, 1756-1758, 417. 

Bird, Jonathan. *PQ Inv. Book, 1800-1810, 468. 

Bradford, Thomas. 1 PC, Letters of AdnL, 1797- 
1803, 149. *Chy Goz, Mar., 29, 1792. *MCO, 
Book L-6, 201. *IKd. Book L-6, 275. 5 PQ Inv. 
Book C, 1789-1811, 449. 

Brewer, Charles, ^VoL 63, 1729-1731, 224 (Free 

Brickies, Richard. i\Vffl Book 4, 1736-1740, 82. 
2$*. PWp's Par. R^ 1720-1758, 73, 163. *McL 
Rec., VoL 75-B, 1746-1749, 390. 

Broomhead & Blythe. * MCO, Book L, 291. 

Brown, DanieL *Cbas. Courier, Sept. 29, 1806; 1/1 

Brown, Hugh. MCO, Book V-4, 32. *lbid. Book 
1-4, 209. 3 Book 95, 1771-1775, 204 (Free Library). 

Caine, Isaac. iWffl Book 21, 1783-1786, 834. 

Calder, Alexander. 1 SCHM, VoL 24, 31. *USDC, 
Citizens Book A. 3 MCO, Book B-8, 89. *Oty 
Gaz. and Cam. Adv^ June 15, 1819; 3/1. 5 Will 
Book 45, 1845-1851, 484. * Health Dept. Rec. 

Carwithen, William. *& Philip's Par. Reg. 1720- 
1758, 160. 2 MCO, Book K, 146. * Ibid. Book S, 
266. */MiBookFF,2Q*. 5 McL Reo, Book 83-3, 
1754-1758, 632 (Free ybrary). 6 Jour. Ct. of Gea 
Sessions, 1769-1776, 53 (Museran Library). 
^ SCHM, VoL 44, 45. 

Charaock, Thomas. iMCO, Book A-8, 231. 2 Dir. 
1822, 103. 

Oaypoole, George, MOO, Book H, 17. 

daypoole, Josiah. l Pem. Gaz, May 18, 1738 
[Prime]. 2 SCG, Aug. 9, 1742. *lbid. Feb. 4, 1745. 
*lbid. Apr. 11, 1748. *$CBM, Vol. 14, 158. 

Coker, Thomas. *SCHM, VoL 36, 87. *IW. VoL 
41,153. /Ay.Vol.26,155. 

Cook (e), Thomas. *SCHM, VoL 40, 60. *Ibid. 
VoL 33, 282. Ibid. VoL 34, 83. * Will Book 20, 
1783-1786,387. 5 MCO, Book N-5, 359. Letters 
of Adrn^ 1785-1791, 69. 'Cbas. City Dir, end 
Business Rcg^VW,*. 

Coquereau, Charles. J Citizens Book 4-C, 23 (Arch. 
Dept^ Columbia, S. C). 2 Weekly Reports of 
the Stewards of the Orphan House (S. C Hk. 
Soc.) * Constitution and By-Laws of the Societf 
Frmcaise of Charleston, S. C, 11. 

Cowan, John. J Health Dept Rec. 

Cullktt, Adam. * Hirsch, Hug. of S. C, 84. 2 MCO, 
Book WW, 140, 145, 150. 'Will Book 12 t 1767- 
1771,420. *SCHAf,VoL10,230. 

Deans, Robert 1& Michael's Coll (S. C Hist 
Soc). *MCO, Book WW, 526. *lbid. Book 
B-3,316. /l Book C-3, 426. *SCHM,VoL34, 

Delorme, John Franck i(Sty Gas^ Sept 16, 1794. 
sPrime, Vol. H 219. 'Citizens Book 3-E, W 
(Arch. Dept, Columbia, S. C). *SCG, Mar. 1, 
1797. 5 Crty Gaz. and Com, Adv, Jan. 5, 1819. 

Desel, Charles. 1 MCO, Book P-4, 457. 2 Ibid. Book 
H-5, 273. 'SCHM, VoL 31, 264; Tombstone In- 
scripdons. <WiU Book 31, 1807-1818, 35. *PC, 
Inv. Book, 1800-1810, 450. 

Desel,SamueL 1 MCO, Book G-8, 201. * Dir. 1822. 
WiU Book 32, 1807-1818, 859. 

Dobbins, John. *McL Rec, VoL 90, 1765-1769, 99. 
*St. Philips Par. Reg. 17H-1810, 246. MCO, 
Book 0-6, 442. * Ibid. Book Z-6, 163. 

Douglas, John. *MCO, Book Y-6, 75. *USDC, 
Qtizens Book A. MCO, Book 1-7, 392. *PC, 
Letters of AduL, 1803-1808, 168. PC, Inv. Book, 
1800-1810, 373. 

Duddell, James. iPQ Inv. Book D, 1800-1810, 208. 

Duval, Lewis. iPC, Inv. Book 60, 1724-1726, 82. 

Eden, Joshua. *SCHM, VoL 19, 81. *Jour. Ct of 
Gen. Sessions, 1769-1776, 215, 318. 'SCHAf, VoL 
1, 135, 187. *PQ Letters of Adra, 1785-1791, 406. 
SCHAf, VoL 27, 44. PC, Witt Book 28, 1800- 
1807,276. T PC, Inv. Book, 1800-1810, 93. 

Ehrenpford, John Godfrey. 1 U3DC, Gtizeus 
Book A. 

Elfe, Thomas. *Eife Family BiWe now (1955) in 
the possession of Mrs. John A. Zeigler of Moncks 
Corner, S. C. B Md Rec n VoL 75-B, 1746-1749, 
497. *Ibid. 609. <SCH#, Vol. 35, 13. *&. 
Philip's Par. Reg. 1754-1810, 143. McL Rec n VoL 
75-Bt 1746-1749, 731. t$CHM, VoL 31, 9. St 


Michael's Coll. (S. C. Hist. Soc.). * Statutes at 
Large, S. C., Vol. 4, 63. 10 Mcl. Rec., Vol. 83-B, 
1754-1758, 616. iiKershaw, Hut. of St. Michael, 
95. 12 SCG, Apr. 20, 1765; 3/2. 13 MCO, (abst.) 
Book W, 405. ulMd. Book E-3, 621. lKd. 
Book D-3, 310. "MdL Rec., Vol. 91-B, 1767- 
1777, 961. 17 Jour. Ct. of Gen. Sessions, 1769-1776, 
44 (Museum Library). ^SCHM, Vol. 35, 14. 
i 9 Inv. Book, Vol. 99-A, 1776-1778, 116. 

Me, Thomas, Jr. *PC, Will Book 18, 1776-1784, 
88. *SCHM, VoL 11, 167. * Statutes at Large, 
S. C, VoL 6, 629. 4 MCO, Book P-5, 282. 
5 Ibid. Book F-7, 74. 6 Dir. 1807, 90. 

Ellis, Matthew. iPC, Letters of Adm., Vol. RR, 
1797-1803, 446. 

Emarrett, Peter. x Weekly Reports of the Stewards 
of the Orphan House (S. C. Hist. Soc.). 

Fairchild, Robert. 1 St. Philip's Par. Reg. 1120-lltt, 
66. 2MCO, (abst.) Book 00, 57. 3 SCHM, VoL 
23, 69, 70, 196. *Rec. Book 95, 1771-1775, 237 
(Free Library). 

Fairley, Hance. * USDC, Citizens Book A. *SCHM, 
VoL 40, 65, 

Finlayson, Mungo, *SCHM, VoL 35, 16, 20, 66. 
2 Reg. St. Thomas, 31. *Ibid. 60. 4 Letters of 
Adm., Book 00, 1775-1785, 312. &SCHM, VoL 
22, 23. 6 PC, Inv. Book 1789-1800, 122. 

Finlayson, Mungo Graeme. *St. Philip's Par. Reg. 
fit 4-1810, 360. 

Fisher, John. a RaveneI, Architects of Charleston, 
51. *SCHM, VoL 38, 40; VoL 39, 87. 8 Jour. Ct. 
of Gen. Sessions, 1769-1776, 296. *MCO, Book 
C-5, 208, 570. * Statutes at Large, S. O, VoL 6, 
629. 6 Jour. of the Senate, 76. 7 S. C Confiscated 

Freling, Theodore. 1 PC, Letters of Adm. (Intes- 
tate), 1797-1803, 185. 2 Inv. Book C, 1789-1800, 

Frew, John. * State Gaz. of S. C. Sept. 25, 
1795 [Prime]. *SCHM, Vol. 26, 49. 

Fyfe, John. l St. Philips Par. Reg. 1154-1810, 219. 
*MCO, Book P-4, 457. ^SCEM, VoL 11, 169. 

Gilmer, James, ^v. Book 94-A, 1771-1774, 348. 

Gough, John. iMCO, Book H-5, 190. 

Gouldsmith, Richard. a USDC, Citizens Book A. 
2 MCO,BookK-9,247. 

Graham, Thomas. *SCHM, VoL 23, 110. 2 MCO, 
Book E-8, 425. *ltid. Z-8, 60. *SCHM, VoL 47, 

Gros, John. l Salley, Mar. Not. in Chas. Cornier, 47. 
2 Tombstone Inscriptions [Huguenot Churchyard], 
264. MOO, Book Y-0, 241. 

Hall, Peter. *SCG, Nov. 20, 1762. 2 5CHAf, Vol. 
35, 16. 

Hammet, William. Wol. 68, 1736-1739, 260 (Free 

Hampton, William. *SCHM, VoL 38, 35. 2 MCO, 

Book C-6, 62. 

Hancock, George. * USDC, Citizens Book A. 
Harden, Joel. l Wills, Inv. & Mel. Rec., Vol. 64, 


Hefferman, John. 1 USDC, Citizens Book A. 2 In- 
formation from Miss Frances Jervey, 1936. 

3SCHM, VoL 43, 98. *lKd. Vol. 48, 198. 
Holton, Thomas. ^CO, (abst.) Book A, 132. 

2 S*. Philip's Par. Reg. 1120-1158, 152. S MCO, 

Book I, 568. 4 WiUs, Inv. & Mel. Rec., VoL 62-A, 

1729-1731, 27. 5 lbid. VoL 62-B, 172W731, 963. 

7Wrf. Book 64, 173 1-1733, 118. 
How and Roulain. iBook 86-B, 1758-1763 (Free 

Hutchinson, Thomas. !MCO, (abst.) Book W, 

115. 2 5CHAf, Vol. 53, 14. 3 Cto. Year Book, 

1897, 394. 4 Sabine, Loyalists of Am. Rev., VoL n, 

535. * St. Philip's Par. Reg. 1154-1810,353. PC, 

Will Book A, 1783-1786, 262. 7 J ou r. of the Senate, 

Johnston, Edward. * PC, Letters of Adm, VoL QQ, 

Jones, Abraham. a Rules of German Friendly Soc., 

100. 2 Rules of Chas. Ancient Artillery Soc., 47. 

s MCO, Book A-9, 197; Book H-9, 449. * German 

Friendly Soc., loc. cit. 
Jones, Robert W. &. Philip's Par. Reg. 1154-1SW, 

Jones, William. J City Gaz. or Daily Adv., Apr. 9, 

1791, 2 Will Book 24, 1786-1793, 1134 (Free 

Library). 3 PC, Inv. Book 1783-1797, 495. 
Kirkwood, James. * St. Philip's Par. Reg. 112 0-11S8, 

93. 2 MCO, Book WW, 568; 577. 3 SCG, Feb. 

7-14, 1761. *SCHM, Vol. 15, 44. *St. Philip's 

Par. Reg. 1154-1810, 346. 

Lacroix, Francis Joseph. *SCHM, VoL 30, 117. 
Lapiere, Gilbert Bernard James. 1 USDC, Citizens 

Book A. 2 WiU Book 32, 1807-1818, 841 (Free 

Lardant, James. * Statutes at Large, S. C, VoL 2, 

131-133. 2 $CHAf, Vol. 9, 22. *McL Rec. Book 

53, 1692-1693, 367. 

Larue, Francis. a Mel. Rec., 1783-1812, 252. 
Lee, Thomas. !Dir. 1806. 2 Courier, Mar. 2, 1814. 

8 Letters of Adm. (Intestate), Book 180&-1815, 388. 
Legate, Solomon, Jr. a Statutes at Large, S. C, VoL 

4,275. 2 Will Book 16, 1774-1779, 258. *SCHM, 

Vol. 17, 89. 
Lejeune, Thomas. * Constitution & By-Laws of 

Societe* Francaise of Charleston, 1934, 11. 
Lewis, William. * Health Dept Rec. 
Lining, Thomas. l St. Philip's Par. Reg. 1120-1158, 

197. 2 SCHM,Vol.23, 170. 3 SCG, Oct. 14, 1756; 

2/2. * Minutes of Vestry of St. Philip's Church, 

May 14, 1750. 5 Acct of Payment of Gen. Tax, 


1760-1769, 45. *St. Philip's Par. Reg. HM-WO, 

304. 7 Inv. Book 87-B, 1761-1763, 634 (Free 

Lipper, Henry. l Letters of Adm. (Intestate), 1803- 

1808, 425. 2 PC, Inv. Book, 1800-1810, 468. 
Listen, Robert. *McL Rec., 83-B, 175M758, 616 

(Free Library). 2 Mel. Rec., 86-A, 1758-1763, 373. 

s St. Philip's Par. Reg. 1154-1810, 144. * Inv. Book, 

85-B, 1758-1761, 572 (Free Library). 
Lide, John. l Letters of Adm. (Intestate), 1815- 

1819, 373. 2 PC, Inv. Book, 180W819, 527. 
Lupton, William. *St. Philip's Per. Reg. 1:20-175$, 

Magrath, Richard. * SCG, July 9, 1772. 2 /&X,Apr. 

3, 1775; 4/2. 
Marlen, William. *Sf. Philips Par. Reg. I75WW0, 

Marshall, John, letters of Adm., Book QQ, 230. 

2 MCO, Z-6, 277. *lbid. Z-6, 282, 285. *SCHM, 

Vol. 47, 148. 
May, John. l Information from Miss Frances Jervey 

from account book of James Jervey. 2 SCHM , VoL 

42,32. s Ibid. Vol. 29, 246. * Will Book 48, 1856- 

1862, 502. 
McGilvrey, Farquhar. * Day Book of James Poyas 

(Chas. Museum). 2 MCO, Book D-3, 33. 

s$CHAf, VoL 35, 16, 19, 66. *lbid. Vol. 16, 131. 

sibid. VoL 44, 173. 
Mclntosh, John. ^USDC, Citizens Book A. 

2 SCHM, VoL 34, 158. S PC, Inv. Book, 1819- 

Mclntosh and Foulds. l Information from Miss 

Frances Jervey from account book of James Jervey. 
Mills, Thomas. *SCHM, VoL 22, 35. 2 McL Rec. 

90, 1765-1769, 99 (Free Library). 8 SCHM, Vol. 

36,10. *MCO,M-6,l;K-6,48. 
Minting, Philip, i Letters of Adm., 1785-1791, 205. 
Moncrief, Richard. *MCO, (abst.) Book W, 585. 

2SCG, June 27, 1748; 1/2. 3 St Michael's ColL 

(S. C Hist Soc.), No. 35 Commisioners Bills. 

* Gen. Tax, 1760-1769, 73 et seq. 5 Joor. Ct, of 
Gen. Sessions, 1769-1776, 115, 193 (Chas. Museum). 
5CHAf, VoL 11, 129. 7 Sabine, Amer. Loyalists, 
477. s Will Book 23, 1786-1793, 517. Inv. Book 
B, 1783-1797, 244. 10 &. Philip's Par. Reg. 1720- 
1758, 95, 104. 

Moore, Philip. ^SCHAf, VoL 5, 145. *lbid. VoL 
33, 35. *ltid. VoL 33, 306. *MCO, Book B-7, 
65. 5 WiU Book 48, 1856-1862, 114 (Free Library). 

Morison, Simon. * Courier, Oct 5, 1839; 2/6. 

* Health Dept. Rec. Courier, Oct 5, 1839. 

* Will Book 42, 1839-1845, 26. 

Muckenfuss, Michael. * Rules of German Friendly 
Soc, 98, 99. *MCO, G-7, 282. >/Wf, 2^6, 145. 
*SCHM, VoL 32, 67. 5 W511 Book 31, 1807-1818, 
144. PC, Inv. Book 1800-1810, 476. 

Murphy, Josiah. ! Records, VoL 95, 19 (Free 

Library), 2 hv. Book 9f-A, 1771-1774, 213. 
Neville, 'Henry W. and Joshua. iUSDC, Citizens 

Book A. 2 Dir. 1822. * Courier, Aug. 17, 1828. 

* Health Dept. Rec. 
Neville, James MCO, Book S-8, 111. 
Newton, Thomas. 1 St. Philip's Par. Reg. 1720-17*8, 

W, 181. 
Norris, James G ^Dli. =Schirmer Records (S C 

Hist. Soc.). 
Packrow, John. *MCO, Book XX, 13, W; Book 

C-3,667. 2 SCHM, VoL 10, 235; VoL 22, 35. *St. 

Pbil'tfs Par. Reg. 1754-1810, 319. <WH1 Book 

27, 1793-1800, 712 (Free Library). 
Pearce, Abraham. * Council Journal 32, 709. *SCG, 

Mar. 14, 1768 [Prime]. *SCHM, Vols. 35-39. 

*Sabine, Loyalists of Am. Rcv^ VoL II, 564. 
Peigne, James L * Health Depc. Rec. *lbid. 
Pfeninger, Martin [11]. J PC, Letters of Adrn^ 1778- 

1821, 252. 2 PC, Inv. Book, 1798-1800, 166. 
Philips, John M. 1 City Gaz. and Daily Adv^ May 

23, 1796 [Prime]. 
Porter, Benjamin R. l State Gaz. of S. C^ June 20, 

1797. 2 City Gaz. and Adv^ Jan. 3, 1798. 
Powell, John. ' WiB Book 23, 1786-17^, 546. 2 PC, 

Inv. Book, 1783-1797, 248. 
Price, Thomas. 1 PC, Letcers of Adnu, 1797-1803, 17. 

3 MCO, Book T-4 382. s lnv. Book C, 178M800, 

Purse, W. W. ^Georgetown [S. C] Gazette, June 

27,1826. * MCO, Book N-9, 425. 
Qnackinbush, Laurence. *SCHM, VoL 33, 39. 

Ralph, John. iSCHM, Vok 38 and 39. 2 MCO, 

Book D-5, 16, 20. *Cte. Year Book, 1897, 394. 

*Safaine, Loydistf of Am. Rev, VoL n, 569. 

5 MCO, Book Y-5, 139. Letters of Adm, 1775- 

1785,358. ^SCHAf, VoL 21, 121. MCO, Book 

U-6, 108. St. Philip's Par. Reg. 17!t-1810, 369. 

"Letters of Adrm 1797-1803, 362. "Inv. Book 

D, 1800-1810, 107. 
Ralph & Silberg. i(Sty Gaz. * Daily Adv, Oct. I, 

Redmond, Andrew. *SCHM, Vdk 39 and 40. 

*flH, VoL I, 54. 'Will Book 24, 1786-1793, 793. 
Reside, William. 1 Dir. 1806, 43. J PC, Letters of 

Adrn^ 1797-1803, 5. MCO, Book W-^, 30L 

*lbid. Book B-7, 270. *SalIey, Mar. Nat. m S. C. 

Gaz^ 109. * Letters of Adnx, 1797-1803, 299. 

?MCO, Book Q-7, 252. sQerk of Court Decree 

Book, 1807-1811, 36. 
Rikyjohn. * SCHM, VoL 1, 58. ' Letters of AdnL, 

1775-1784,346. SCHAf, VoL 24, 77. *lbid. VoL 

Rosse, Pwi 1 USDC, Qrizens Book A. 2 Comer, 

Sept 29, 1806; 1/L 


Roulain, Abraham. * Reg. St. Thorns, 78. *SCHM, 
Vok 37 and 41. 8 Jour. Ct. of Gen. Session, 1769- 
1776, 203 (Museum Library). *MCO, Book M-5, 
220. *Wffl Book 22, 1786-1793, 281. MCO, Book 
D-6, 200. 7 Inv. Book, 1783-1797, 127. 

Roushan, James. * Wills, Inv. & Mel. Rec. 64, 1731- 
1733, 80. 2 MCO, Book L, 56. *SCHM, VoL 19, 
163. *McL Rec. 75-6,1746-1749,567. * Inv. Book 
82-B, 1753-1756, 531. 'Will Book 7, 1752-1756, 

Row, George Daniel !MCO, Book A-7, 73. 

Sass, Edward George. 1 Schirmer Records (S. C. 
Hist. Soc.). *SCHM, VoL 33, 67. 3 Schirmer 
Records. * MCO, Book 9, 122. * Ibid. Book A-12, 
573. 6 Tombstone Inscriptions (First Baptist), 16, 
17. * Will Book 44, 1845-1851, 456. 

Sass, Jacob. *Cte. Courier, Feb. 15, 1836. *IKd. 
Feb. 18, 1836. 

Saunders, Harry. 1 Letters of Adm., 1785-1791, 72. 

Scull, Edward. * Wills, Inv. & McL Rec. 62-B, 1729- 
1731, 832. * Will Book 5, 1740-1747, 328. *Inv. 
Book 67-A, 1732-1746, 96. 

Sheridan, John J, *MCO, Book Q-13, 647. 

Sigwald, Thomas. * Letters of AdnL, 1797-1803, 147. 
2 MCO, Book F-7, 36. 

Silberg, Nicholas. l Chy Gaz. * Dotty Adv^ June 
11, 1796. *SaIley, Mar. Not. m S. C. Gas., 95. 
a St. Philip's far. Reg. 1154-1810, 370. * Will Book 
28, 1800-1807, 231. 5 Inv. Book 1800-1810, 97. 

Simmons, James. 1 Letters of Adm. 1785-1791, 300. 

Smith, George Elias. *SCHM, VoL 33, 51. 

Smith, John. * New Eng. Hist. & Gen. Register, VoL 

Smith, Richard. * Information from Miss Frances 
Jervey. *SCHM, VoL 33, 52. * Ibid. VoL 34, 164. 

Stewart, Charles. *City Gaz., May 14, 1795. *Reg. 
St. Thomas, 42. 3 Arch. Dept, Columbia, S. C 
* MCO, Book X-d, 70; Un5, 324. *SCHM, VoL 
44, 150. 

Stewart, George. iLetters of AdnL, Book 00, 
1775-1785, 445. *Inv. Book A, 1785-1793, 337. 

Stocks, Thomas. ^MCO, Book TT (abst.), 399. 
2 SCHAf,VoL38,35. 

Tamexus, Christian. *MCO, Book T-7, 126. 

Tennant, Thomas. MCO, Book A-13, 501. 

Tbom, Jacob. ^SCHM, VoL 33, 37. 

Townsend, Stephen. ^CG, Sept. 21, 1765; 3/3. 
2 MCO, Book L-3, 339. */KI. Book S-3, 111. 
*McL Rec. 91A, 1767-1771, 428. *$CHM, Vol. 
35, 154. e MCO, Book F-7, 203. ^Sabine, loyal- 
ists of Am. Rsv^ VoL n, 588. * MCO, Book H-6, 
30. *SCHM, VoL 25, 157. Letter from Rhode 
Island School of Design. 

Townsend and Axson. ^CG, Feb. 5, 1763. 

Vanall, Matthew, ilnv. Book 68, 1736-1739, 301. 

Vinyard, John. ^SCEM, VoL 29, 335. 2 MCO, 

Walker, Robert letters of Adm., 1797-1803, 189. 
2 Dir. 1801. 3 MCO, Book X-7, 313; Book D-8, 168. 
*Will Book 33, 1807-1818, 1167. 5 Tombstone In- 
scriptions (Scots Presbyterian). 6 Will Book 39, 
1826-1834, 1185. 7 Inv. Book, 183W843, 31. 

Walker, William. 1 MCO, Book K-7, 157. 2 Letters 
of Adm., Book SS, 276. 3 Inv. Book E, 1809-1819, 

Wallace, Thomas. * City Gaz. d Daily Adv., Feb. 
19, 1796. 2 MCO, Book S-6, 444; Book C-7, 296; 
Book L-7, 286. 3 Tombstone Inscriptions (Scots 
Presbyterian), 465. 4 Wffl Book 33, 1807-1818, 
1167. 5 Inv. Book F, 1819-1824, 44. 

Warham, Charles. *SCHM, VoL 12, 21. 2 MCO, 
Book WW, 290; Book GG, 178. *Ibid. Book Q, 
126. *S. C. Gaz. & Country Journ., Nov. 17, 1768. 
5 Jour. Ct. of Gen. Sessions, 1769-1776 (Museum 
Library). *SCHM, VoL 35, 73. 7 lbid. VoL 29, 

Watson, John. *City Gaz. and Adv., Feb. 4, 1797. 
*IW. Jan. 1, 1798; 4/4. 3 Book 3-V, 37 (Arch. 
Dept., Columbia, S. C.). 4 MCO, Book M-6, 460. 
5 Jervey, Epitaphs from St. MichaeFs, 290. 

Watson, William. * St. Philip's Par. Reg. 1720-1158, 
153. 2 MCO, Book K, 202. * St. Philip's Par. Reg. 
1120-1158, 248. * Will Book 3, 1731-1737, 305. 

Watts, Charles. 1 City Gaz. * Adv., Mar. 24, 1795. 
2 MCO, Book Q-6, 381; Book Un5, 44; Book H-7, 
438, 441. 3 Will Book 32, 1807-1818, 510. *Inv. 
Book, 1809^1819, 62. 

Wayne, William. ^CO, Book L-3, 101. 2 Prime, 
VoL I, 177. 8 MCO, Book E-4, 456. ^Mcl. Rec M 
91-A, 1767-1771, 207. 5 Joum. Ct. of Gen. Ses- 
sions, 1769-1776, 64 (Museum Library). SCHM, 
VoL 35, 106. *Ibid. VoL 38, 38. MCO, Book 
B-5,123. /W.F-5,268. 

Welch, George. 1 SCHM, Vol. 28, 133. * Ibid. Vol. 
34, 101, 160. 

Weyman and Carne. 1 S. C. Gaz. & Country Jour- 

Wheeler, Benjamin. *SCHM, VoL 33, 284; Vol. 34, 
83. 2 Will Book 20, 1783-1786, 387. 

White, Gottlieb. ^CO, Book 0-8, 206. 2 Dir. 

WUJtie, George. 1 Letters of Adm., 1785-1791, 79. 
2 Inv. Book A, 1785-1793, 337. 

Williams, John. *N. E. Hist. <fr Gen. Reg., VoL 62, 

Wilson, John. *MCO, Book P-6, 214. *SCHM, 
VoL 32, 281. 

Woodin, Thomas. l Statutes at Large, S. C, VoL 4, 


Act 962. 2McL Rec n Book 91-B, 1767-1771, 676. 
*MCO, Book H-4, 38, 166; Book Z-3, 333, 336, 
344,354. *SCHM,VoL21,68. * Will Book, 1775- 
1779, 183. 

Worthington, Joseph. *State Qaz. of S. C, July 8, 

1793; 3/3. 
Worthington and Sinclair. 1 Chy Gaz. and 

Feb. 26, 1793. 



Account of Payment of General Tax 1760-1769. [In 
the Charleston Museum,] 

Citizens Book. [South Carolina Archives Department, 
Columbia, S. C.] 

Clerk of Court Decree Book, 1807-1811. 

Day Book of James Poyas. [In die Charleston 

Elfe Family Bible, now [1954] owned by Mis, John 
A. Zeigler of Moncks Corner, S. C 

Health Department Records, 1821- , Charleston 
County, S. C. 

Journal of the Court of General Sessions, 1769-1776. 
[In the Charleston Museum.] 

Marceil, Elizabeth C. (compiler). Tombstone In- 
scriptions from Charleston Churchyards. Charles- 
ton, S. G 1936. [Typewritten copy in the South 
Carolina Historical Society.] 

Mesne Conveyance Office, Office of the Registrar: 
Deeds, Mortgages, eta, Charleston County, S. C 

Minutes of the Vestry of St. Philip's Church, 
Charleston, S. C 

Papers of CoL John Chestnut [South Carolina His- 
torical Society.] 

Probate Court, Office of the Judge of Probate: Wills, 
Inventories and Miscellaneous Records, Charleston 
County, S. C. 

Sass Coffin Plate Book. [Sooth Carolina Historical 

Schirmer, Jacob. Records October 1826-1886. 
[South Carolina Historical Society.] 

St. Michael's Collection, [South Carolina Historical 

United States District Court [Charleston]. Aliens ad- 
mitted Citizens, Book A. 

Weekly Reports of the Stewards of the Orphan 
House. [South Carolina Historical Society.] 


Adams, Henry. History of the United States of 

America. Vol. L New York. 1889. 
Albion, Robert Greenhalgh. The Rise of New York 

Port. [1815-1860.] New York. 1939. 
Baltimore Furniture. Baltimore Museum of Ait 

Baltimore, Md. 1947. 
Bowes, Frederick. The Culture of Early Charleston. 

University of North Carolina Press. 1942. 
Bracket, Oliver. Thomas Chippendale. Boston and 

New York, 1925. 

Bridenbaugh, Carl Myths and Realities. Louisiana 

State University Press. 1952. 
Browne, D. J. The Sylva Americana; or a Description 

of the Forest Trees . . . Boston, 1832. 
Burroughs, Paul H. Southern Antiques. Richmond, 

Va, 1931. 

Carroll, B. B. Historical Collections of South Caro- 
lina VoL E New York. 1836. 
Catesby, Mark. The Natural History of Carolina, 

Florida, and the Bahama Islands. . . . London. 

Census of the United States. Heads of Families at the 

first Census of the United States taken m the year 

119Q. South Carolina. Washington, D. C 1908. 
Cesdnsky, Herbert The Old-World House. Vok I 

& E London. 1924. 
Chambers, & William. Design of Chinese EuUdmg, 

Furniture, Dresses, Machines and Utensils. London. 

Chapman, John A* History of EdgeftM County . . . 

Charleston Year Book, 1880, 1882, 1883, 1896, 1897. 

Charleston, S. C. 

Chippendale, Thomas. Director. London. 1754. 
Gute, Robert F. (arranged by). The Annals and 

Parish Re&ster of St Thomas and St. Denis Parish, 

in South Carolina, from 1680 to 1884. Charlescan, 

a G 1884. 
Cole, Arthur Harrison. Wholesale Commodity Prices 

in the Untied States 1100-1861. Harvard University 

Press. 1938. 
Crcvecoeor, J. Hector Sc, John. Letters from an 

American Farmer, . . . London. 1783. 
Dalcho, Frederick. An Historical Account of the 

Protestant Episcopal Church, in South Carolina 

. . . Charleston, & C. 1820. 
Directories, City of Charleston, S f C.: 1790, 1801, 

1802, 1803, 1806, 1807, 1809, 1813, 1816, 1819, 1822, 

1829, 1841, 1849, 1852, 1855. 
Downs, Joseph. American Furniture. New York. 


Drayton, John. A View of South Carotina. Charles- 
ton, 1802. 
Easterby, J. Harold. The South Carolina Rice Factor 

as Revealed in the Papers of Robert F, W. Atiston. 

(Journal of Southern History, VoL 7, M2y, 1941.) 
.Thefalesof the South Carotin* Society .., 

Baltimore, M& 1937. 

. The South CaroUfut Rice Plmatum. Univer- 
sity of Chicago Press. 1915. 


Eberlein, Harold Donaldson, and McQure, Abbot 
The Practical Book of Period Furniture. Phila- 
delphia and London. [1914.] 

Elliott, Stephen. A Sketch of the Botany of South- 
Carolina and Georgia. Vol. L Charleston, S. C. 

German friendly Society, Rules of. Ninth ed. 
Charleston, S.C. 1908. 

Congaware, George J. (compiler). The History of 
the German Friendly Society of Charleston, South 
Carolina, 1166-1916, Richmond, Va. [c. 1935.] 

Gray, Lewis Cecil. History of Agriculture in the 
Southern States to 1S60. Washington, D. C. 1933. 

[Harrison, Fairfax], The John's Island Stud (South 
Carolina) 1150-1188. Richmond, Va. 1931. 

Hepplewhite, A. and Co. Cabinet-Maker and Up- 
holsterer's Guide. London. 1754. [Reprint 1898.] 

Hibernian Society, Constitution and Rules of the. 
Charleston, S.C. 1818. 

Hirsch, Arthur H. The Huguenots of Colonial South 
Carolina. Durham, N. C. 1928. 

Homer, William Macpherson, Jr. Blue Book [of] 
Philadelphia Furniture. Philadelphia. 1935. 

Jervey, dare. Inscriptions on the Tablets and Grave- 
stones in St. MichaeFs Church and Churchyard, 
Charleston, S. C Columbia, S. C. 1906. 

Jones, E. Alfred. American Members of the Inns of 
Court. London. 1924. 

Jourdain, Margaret Regency Furniture. London. 

Jourdain, Margaret, and Rose, F. English Furniture. 
London. 1953. 

Kershaw, John. History of the Parish and Church of 
St. Michael Charleston, S. C [1915.] 

La Rouchfoucauld-Liancourt, Francis Alexander 
Frederic, due de la. Travels through the United 
States of North America m the years 1195, 1196, 
1W . . . London. 1799. 2 vok 

Lawson, John. A New Voyage to Carolina . , . Lon- 
don. 1709. 

[Lesesne, Thomas P.] Historical Sketch of Orange 
Lodge No. 14, A. F. M. Charleston, S. C [1939.] 

Litde, E. L., Jr. Important Forest Trees of the 
United States, 774. Dept of Agri. Year Book. 1949. 
(Separate No. 2156). 

Lockwood, Luke Vincent Colonial Furniture m 
America. New York. 1921. 2 vok 

Lutheran Church, Rules and Regulations of. Revised. 

McCrady, Edward. A Sketch of the History and 
Rides of the Charleston Ancient Artillery Society. 
Revised. Charleston, S. C 1901. 

. The History of South Carolina. Vol. I. New 

York. 1897. 

Magassne Antiques. Vok lnS4. 1922-1953. 

Mereness, Newton D. Travels m the American 
Colonies. New York. 1916. 

Meriwether, Margaret Babcock, ed. The CaroMan 
Florist of Governor John Drayton of South Caro- 
lina, 1766-1822. The South Caroliniana Library. 

Michaux, F. Andrew. The North American Sylva. 

Vol. H. Philadelphia, Pa. 1818. 
Miller, Edgar G., Jr. American Antique Furniture. 

Baltimore, Md. 1937. 

Mills, Robert. Statistics of South Carolina. Charles- 
ton, S. C. 1826. 

Moore, Mabel Roberts. Hitchcock Chairs. Ter- 
centenary Commission of the State of Connecticut 

"Neptune" Chart of Charles Town. 1777. London. 
New England Historical and Genealogical Register. 

Vols. 62, 64. 

Newspapers. Naturally every line of the papers listed 
below has not been read word for word but the 
vast majority of papers has been carefully ex- 
amined for advertisements by cabinet-makers. In 
the few instances where the lack of time precluded 
a page for page examination, alternate issues of the 
paper were examined. It is not likely that many 
advertisements were overlooked by this method, 
since it was the almost invariable custom for an 
advertisement to run consecutively for several 
Charleston: Charleston Courier: 1803-1852. 

Charleston Evening Gazette: 1785-1786. 
Charleston Morning Post and Daily Ad- 
vertiser: 1786-1787. 

City Gazette (known at various times by 
the following additional tides: The 
City Gazette, and the Daily Adver- 
tiser; The City Gazette, or the Daily 
Advertiser; the City Gazette & Daily 
Advertiser; City Gazette; City Gazette 
and Daily Advertiser; City Gazette 
and Commercial Advertiser); 1787- 

South-Carolina Gazette: 1732-1775. 
South Carolina Gazette; And Country 

Journal: 1765-1775. 
State Gazette of South Carolina: 1785- 


Tmes: 1800-1809. 
Savannah, Ga.: Columbian Museum and Savannah 

Daily Gazette. 

Phillips, Ulrich BonnelL A History of Transporta- 
tion in the Eastern Cotton Belt to 1860. Columbia 
University Press. 1908. 

Prime, Alfred Coxe. The Arts and Crafts In Phila- 
delphia, Maryland and Carolina, 1121-1800. Vok 
I-IL The Walpole Society. 1929, 1932. 
Ravenel, Beatrice St Julien. Architects of Charleston. 

Charleston, S. C. [1945.] 
Ravenel, Mrs. St Julien. Charleston, The Place and 

the People. New York. 1922. 
Reveirs-Hopkins, A. E. The Sheraton Period, Post 
Chippendale Designers, 1160-1820. New York [c. 

Revill, Janie. A Compilation of the Original Lists of 
Protestant Immigrants to South Carolina, 1163- 
1H3. Columbia, S.C. 1939. 
Sabine, Lorenzo. Biographical Sketches of Loyalists 


of the American Revolution. Vol. II. Boston. 1864. 
St. Andrew's Society of the City of Charleston, South 

Carolina. Charleston, S. C. 1892. 
St. Philip's Parish Register. See Salley and Smith. 
St. Thomas & St. Denis Parish Register. See Clute. 
Salley, Alexander S., Jr n ed. Marriage Notices in 

Charleston Courier (1803-1818). Columbia, a C 


ed. Marriage Notices in the South-Carolina 

Gazette and Daily Advertiser. 

ed. Register of St. Philip's Parish, Charles 

Town, South Carolina, 1120-1158. Charleston, S. G 

Sellers, Leila. Charleston Business on the Eve of the 
American Revolution. University of North Caro- 
lina Press. 1934. 

Shecut, J. L E. W. Medical Essays. Charleston, S. C. 

Smith, Alice R. Huger, and Smith, D. E. Huger. 
Dwelling Houses of Charleston, South Carolina. 
Philadelphia and London. 1917. 

Smith, D. E. Huger, and Salley, Alexander S., Jr n 
eds. Register of St. Philip's Parish, Charles Town, 
or Charleston, S. C, 1154-1810. Charleston, S. C 

Societe Francaise of Charleston, S. C, Constitution 
and By-laws of the. Charleston, S. G 1934. 

South Carolina Historical Society, Collections of: 
Published by the Society. Vol. V. 1897. 

. Historical and Genealogical Magazine and 

Historical Magxzne. Vok I-LIV. Published by 
the Society. 1900-1953. 

Statutes at Large of South Carolina. Vok n, IV, VL 

Swan, Alabel M. Samuel Mclntire, Cower and The 
Sandersons, Early Salem Cabinet Makers. Salem, 
Mass. 1934. 

Symonds, R. W. The English Export Trade m 
Furniture m Colonial America. Antiques, Oct. 
1935, 156-159. 

Union Kituwtmg Lodge No. 4 Charleston under the 
jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Ancient Free- 
masons of South Carolina, Rules or By-Lwos of 
the. Revised. Charleston, S. C 5858 [1858]. 

Wallace, David Duncan, The History of South Caro- 
few.VoLIl New York. 1935. 

. South Carolina, A Short History. University 

of North Carolina Press. 1951. 

Wertenberger, Thomas J. The Golden Age of 
Cohnid Culture. New York. 1942. 

Whilden, William G. Reminiscences of Old Charles- 
ton. Charleston Year Book, 1896, 402-417. 

Williams, George W. St. Michael, Charleston, 1151- 
1951. University of South Carolina Press. Co- 
lumbia, & G 1951. 



Allen, Josiah, 69 

Apprentices, 10, 11, 71, 86, 93, 95, 102, 109, 112, 124 

Archbald, Robert, 69 

Armchairs, 12, 53 

Artman, John, 69 

August, Charles, 69 

Axson, William, Jr., 69 

Badger, Jonathan, 70 

Ball and daw Foot, 12, 49, 64 

Barker, Thomas, 10 

Barksdale, Charles, 70 

Barnes, James, 11 

Barrite, Gerred R, 11, 22, 71 

Barvffle, Mitchell, 11 

Baylis, 'William, 71 

Beamer, James, 25, 72 

Becaise [Becaisse], Claude, 72 

Beds, 12, 30, 41, 82, 83, 87, 91, 105, 114, 120, 125, 131 

Bellfl owers, 17, 63 

Besseleu, Lewis, 72 

Biggard, John, 54, 72 

Binsky, Martin, 73 

Bird, Jonathan, 73 

Block front furniture, 12 

Block, Nathaniel, 73 

Bonner, John, 73, 106 

Bookcases, 60, 88, 96, 98, 113, 122, 126, 128, 132 

Bradford, Thomas, 73, 78 

Brasses, tf 

Brewer, Charles, 74 

Brickies, Richard, 74 

Broomhead & Bfythe, 30, 44, 74 

Brown, Daniel, 74 

Brown, Hugh, 74 

Brown, Michael, 75 


Burke, Patrick, 75 

Burn, James, 75 

Charleston, 6, 1 
English, 73, 82, 84, 93, 94, 96, 101, 103, 109, 121, 122, 

126, 131 

French, 15, 17, 72, 80, 81, 96, 100, 101, 111 
German, 17, 81, 84, 111, 118, 123, 131 
Irish, 90, 96, 109 
Italian, 116 

Journeymen, 54, 71, 93, 95, 99, 133 
Negro, 10, 11, 20, 77, 87, 89, 91, 124 

Numbers of, 6, 7, 9, 18, 19, 25, 126, 133 

Scottish, 17, 18, 56, 69, 76, 80, 83, 100, 105, 106, 108, 
125, 126, 127, 132 

Swedish, 120 
Caine, Isaac, 75 

Calder, Alexander, 55, 72, 75, 102 
Calder, James, 76 
Candle Stands, 88 
ijnti^rj IJeniamm, 76 
Carman, Andrew, 76 
Came, John, 76, 130 
Carwithen, William, 61, 77 
CeUarettes, 58, 99 
Chairs: Aim, 12, 53 

Easy, 11, 12, 52, 88, 103, 104, 129 

French, 53, 82, 88, 104 



Windsor, 8, 9, 53, 72, 97, 114, 115, 121, 123 
Charleston: Description of, 4, 5, 14, 15 
Charnock, Thomas, 11, 77 
Chests of Drawers, 12, 30, 44, 74, 75, 77, 78, 121, 12d, 

127, 128, 131 
daypoole, George, 7S 
daypooie, Josiah, 7, 24, 44, 48, 50, 59, 7* 
dements, Henry, 73, 78 
docks, 12,^,77,88 
Qothespresses, 12, 46, 88, 120, 133 
Cocks, William, 79 
Coker, Thomas, 19 
Conclusion, 25 
Conflagrations, 22 
Cook (e), Thomas, 79, 130 
Coquereau, Charles, SO 
Corner Cupboards, 59, 125 
Coaches, 12, 55, 88, 104 
Country Trade, /*, 20, 101, 110 
Cowan, John, SO 
Colliatt, Adam, SO 
Gyros, Richard, SO 

Deans, Robert, SO 

Delorme, John Francis, SI 

Desd, Charles, S 1,82,108 

Desd, SiOHiel, *2 

Desk and Bookcases, 11, 12, 59, 77, 78, 87, 88, 106 

Desks, 12, 126, 128 

Disber, Lewis, S2 


Dobbins, John, SI 

Double Chests of Drawers, 11, 12, 13, 16, 21, 42, 82, 

87, 88, 104, 108 
Douglas, James, 83 
Douglas, John, S3 
Dressing Drawers, 44, 128 
Dressing Tables, 12, 13, 50, 75, 132 
Duddell, James, 83 
Duval, Lewis, 83 

Early Charleston, 3 

Easy Chairs, 11, 12, 52, 88, 103, 104, 129 

Eden, Joshua, 11, 83 


Elfe, Thomas, 6, 11, 19, 21, 25, 33, 34, 41, 48, 84, 127 

Elf e, Thomas, Jr,0, 98, 126 

Elfe & Fisher, 86, #,91 

Elfe & Hutchinson, 52, 85, 90, 102 

Ellis, Matthew, 90 

Emarrett, Peter, 90 

Exports: Furniture, 18, 111 

Other than Furniture, 4, 15 
Exports and Country Trade, IB 

Fairchild, Robert, 40 
Fairley,Hance, 90,91 
Finlayson, Mungo, 90, 91 
Finlayson, Mungo Graeme, 91 
Finlayson & Fairley, 91 
Fire Screens, 88 
Fisher, John, 10, 86, 91, 124 
Forthet, John, 82, 92 
Foulds [Fowles], William, 92, 107 
Freeman, James, 92 
Freling, Theodore, 92 
French Chairs, 53, 82, 88, 104 
Frew, John, 92 

Ball and Claw Foot, 12, 49, 64 
Beds, 12, 30, 41, 82, 83, 87, 91, 105, 114, 120, 126, 


Block Front, 12 

Bookcases, 60, 88, 96, 98, 113, 122, 126, 128, 132 
Candle Stands, 88 
CeDarertes, 58, 99 
Chairs: Arm, 12, 53 
Easy, 11, 12, 52, 88, 103, 104, 129 
French, 53, 82, 88, 104 
Hitchcock, 9 
Side, 51, 88 

Windsor, 8, 9, 12, 53, 72, 97, 114, 115, 121, 123 
Charleston-made, 39, 120 
Chest-on-chests, 42 
Chest of Drawers, 12, 30, 44, 74, 75, 77, 78, 121, 126, 

127, 128, 131 
docks, 12,61,77, 88 

Qothespresses, 12, 46, 88, 120, 133 

Corner Cupboards, 59, 125 

Couches, 12, 55, 88, 104 

Dearth of Local, 22 

Desk and Bookcases, 11, 12, 59, 77, 78, 87, 88, 106 

Desks, 12, 126, 128 

Double Chests of Drawers, 11, 12, 13, 16, 21, 42 T 

82, 87, 88, 104, 108 
Dressing Drawers, 44, 128 
Fire Screens, 88 
Half Drawers, 44, 88, 104, 110 
High Boys, 13 
Importations: American, 8, 53, 75, 79, 115 

English, 7, 53 

Other, 10, 81 
Japanned, 64 

Kinds not made in Charleston, 12 
Kinds used in Charleston, 11 
Knife Cases and Urns, 12, 57 
Low Boys, 13, 51 
Plantation-made, 20 
Prices of, 20, 41, 44, 48, 49, 50, 51, 53, 57, 58, 59, 60, 

61, 96, 99, 101, 105, 107, 109, 113, 121 
Schools, 16 

Secretary and Bookcases, 59, 75, 125, 126 
Secretary-Wardrobes, 35, 46, 75, 127 
Settees, 9,55, 97 

Sideboards, 20, 55, 75, 78, 83, 120 
Side Chairs, 51, 88 

Sofas, 12, 21, 55, 76, 79, 88, 104, 107, 120, 127 
Sources of, 6 
Styles and Influences, 13 
Tables, -tf 
"Venture," 8 
Wardrobes, 46, 120, 128 
Wine Coolers, 12, 5* 
Fyfe, John, 81, 93 

Gaskins, Henry, 93, 130 
GifTord, Andrew, 55, # 
Gilmer, James, 93 
Gough, John, 93 
Gouldsmith, Richard, 93 
Graham, Thomas, 94 
Greenland, Walter, 94 
GrifTen, Ephraim, 94 
Gros, John, 94, 100 

Half Drawers, 44, 88, 104, 110 
Hall, Peter, 14, 50, 94 
Hamett, Thomas, 95 
Hammett, William, 95 
Hampton, William, 95 
Hancock, George, 96 
Harden, Joel, 96 
Hefferman, John, 35, 96 


Henry, Julian, 96 
High Boys, 13 
Hitchcock Chairs, 9 
Hodge, David, 96 
Holton, Thomas, 10, 96 
Hope, Thomas, 91 
How & Roulain, 91 
Humiston, Jay, 7, 121 
Humiston & Stafford, 54, 57, 121 
Hutchinson, Thomas, 91 

Importations: Of Furniture, 10, 81 

Other than Furniture, 7, 15 
Inlays, 63 

Japanned Furniture, 64 
Jasper, William, 98 
Jocelin, Henry, 98 
Johnston, Edward, 98 
Jones, Abraham, 98, 99 
Jones, Robert W., 99 
Jones, William, 99 
Jones & Harper, 99 

Keckley, John, 99 
Kinkaid, Alexander, 99 
Kirkwood, James, 99 
Knife Cases and Urns, 12, 57 

Labels, 16, 28, 35, 60, 61, 115, 125, 133 

Lacroix, Francis Joseph, 100 

Lafayette Beds, 71 

Lamare, Esparee, 100 

Lapiere, Gilbert Bernard James, 100, 101 

Lardant, James, 100 

Larue, Francis, 100 

Lee, Thomas, W, 100 

Legare, Solomon, Jr., 202 

Lejeune, Thomas, 100, 202 

Lewis, William, 202 

Lining, Thomas, 101 

Lipper, Henry, 102 

Liston, Robert, 34, 85, 102 

Lide, John, 102 

Litde, William, 102 

Low Boys, 13, 51 

Lupton, William, 103 

Luyten, William, 33, 103 

Magrath, Richard, 17, 43, 49, 51, 52, 55, 204 

Mahogany Sawmill, 25, 30 

Main, James, 204 

Marlen, William, 105, 131 

Marshall, John, 52, 55, 58, 60, 105 

May, John, 66,105 

May & Munro, 105 

Mazett, James, 106 


MDonald & Bonner, 105 

McGillimy [McGilviey], Fanphar, 10* 

Mclntosh [Mlntosh], John, 92, 106, 107 


Mills, Thomas, 82, 107 

Mintzing, Philip, 107 

Moncrief, Richard, 107 

Moore, Philip, lOf 

Morison, Simon, 108 

Muckenfuss, Michael, 57, 58, 10*, 109 

Murphy, Josiah, 10^ 

Naser, Frederick, 109 

Negro Cabinet-Makers, 10, 11, 20, 77, 87, 89, 91, 124 

Neville, Henry & Joshua, 11, 10P 

Neville, James, 109 

Newton, Thomas, 109 

Norris, James G, 110 

Nutt, John, 110 

Packrow, John, 110 
Pearce, Abraham, 18, 111 
Pe^ne, James L, 111 
Pfenii^er, Martin, ST., 63, 111 
Pfeninger, Martin, [II], 112 
Philips [Phillips], Eleazer, 95, 112 
Philips [Phillips], John M., 112 
Plantation-made Furniture, 20 
Polishes, 65 

Porter, Benjamin JL, 112 
Porter & Labach [Fabach], 112 
Powell, John, 112 
Price, Thomas, 115 

Prices of Furniture, 20, 41, 44, 4S, 49, 50, 51, 53, 57, 
58, 59, 60, 61, 96, 99, 101, 105, 107, 109, 113, 121 
Produce, 21, 76, 79 
Prue, John, 115 
Purse, W.W^ 35, 113 

Quackinbush, Laurence, 124, 123 

Ralph, John, 224 9 120 
Ralph & Silbeig, 224, 121 
Rawson, William R^ 115 
Redmond, Andrew, 54, 115 
Reside, William, 115 

Rou, George D., 116, 118 

Rodain, Abraham, 97, 117 
Roushan [Roosfaam], James, 117 
Row, Geoigt Dankl, 117 


Sass, Edward George, 118 

Sass, Jacob, 18, 58, 75, 11*, 120 

Saunders, Harry, 119 

Sawmill: Mahogany, 25, 30 

Scull, Edward, 120 

Secretary and Bookcases, 59, 75, 125, 126 

Secretary-Wardrobes, 35, 46, 75, 127 

Settees, 9, 55, 97 

Sheridan, John J., 54, 120 

Sideboards, 20, 55, 75, 78, 83, 120 

Side Chairs, 51, 88 

Sigwald, Thomas, 120 

Silberg, Nicholas, 58, 114, 120, 121 

Simmons, James, 221 

Smith, George Elias, 121 

Smith, John, 121 

Smith, Richard, 127 

Sofas, 12, 21, 55, 76, 79, 88, 104, 107, 120, 127 

Stafford, Theodore, 97, 121 

Stewart, Charles, 122 

Stewart, George, 122 

Stocks, Thomas, 122, 123 

Styles and Influences, 13 

Swauey, William, 122 

Tables: Ball and daw, 12, 49 

Breakfast, 49, 72, 75, 88, 104, 127, 131 

Card, 11, 49, 75, 88, 104, 105, 127, 128 

China, #,104 

Chinese, 14, 50, 82, 94, 132 

Dining, II, 48, 88, 110, 127, 128, 131 

Dressing, 12, 13, 50, 75, 132 

Early, 48 

Pembroke, 36, 50 

Slab, 11, 12, 50,78,88 

Tea, 11, 48, 76, 78, 88, 110, 120, 128 
Tamerus, Christian, 122 
Tariffs, 7, 8, 29, 50 
Teachester, John, 123 
Tennant, Thomas, 123 
Thorn, Jacob, 123 
Thorn & Quackinbush, 123 
Thompson, James R, 123 
Thompson, William, 123 
Tools, 66 

Townsend, Stephen, 10, 69, 91, 122, 123 
Townsend & Axson, 123, 12* 
Tremain, John, 124 

Vanoll, Matthew, 12* 

Venetian Blinds, 79, 86, 91, 127 

"Venture** Furniture, 8 

Vinyard, John, 125 

Walker, Robert, 18, 35, 36, 60, 61, 12J, 126, 129, 133 

Walker, William, 57, 12J 

Wallace, Thomas, 125, 125, 128 

Wallace & Watts, 126, 128 

Wardrobes, 46, 120, 128 

Warham, Charles, 126 

Watson, John, 92, 102, 127, 128, 132 

Watson, William, 127 

Watson & Woodill, 127, 12*, 132 

Watts, Charles, 55, 126, 12*, 129, 133 

Watts & Walker, 12* 

Wayne, William, 60, 12* 

Welch, George, 12* 

Welch, John, 12* 

Werner, John M,, 130 

Weyman & Came, 77, 130 

Wheeler, Benjamin, 79, 130 

White, Charles, 130 

White, George, 130 

White, Gotdeib, 130 

Whitney, Jedediah, 131 

Wilkie, George, 131 

Will, Mathew, 131 


Williams, John, 131 

Wilson, John, 131 

Windsor Chairs, 8, 9, 12, 53, 72, 97, 114, 115, 121, 1 

Wine Coolers, 12, 5S 

Woodill, John Anthony, 127, 128, 131 

Woodin, Thomas, 132 

Woods, 29 

Ash, 36, 87, 99 

Cedar, 31, 72, 81, 82, 83, 87, 108, 117, 121 

Cypress, 16, 33, 87, 89, 102 

Hickory, 36, 117 

Holly, 37, 125 

Mahogany, 19, 20, 74, 95, 111 

Mahogany: Honduras, 31 
West Indian or St. Domingo, 7, 17, 29, 30, 31 

Maple, 9, 35 

Mulberry, 37 

Oak, 35,36,53 

Palmetto, 36 

Pine, 83, 99, 108, 121 

Pine: Long-leaf, 34 
White, 34, 114, 133 

Poplar, 34, 102, 133 

Red Bay, 33, 95, 125 

Satinwood, 36, 125 

Sweet Gum, 36 

Walnut, 12, 32 
Wood Rays, 36 
Worthington, Joseph, 132 
Worthington & Kirby, 132 
Worthington & Sinclair, 132